03/05/2011 - May Day Vs. St. George's Day?

The controversy over David Cameron's suggestion that the internationally renowned 'Worker's Day' on May 1st be abandoned is, according to the Trade Union Solidarity, misplaced.
David Cameron wants to replace May Day with another national day celebrating St. George's Day (April 23rd) in England (other Saints elsewhere) or Trafalgar Day (October 21st) commemorating Lord Nelson's famous naval victory.
Trade Union leaders understandably are horrified at the loss of their 'Day' and particularly as they suspect the motives of the ConDem coalition. General union GMB general secretary Paul Kenny has been quoted as saying: "Keep your hands off our May Day. Keep your hands off workers' day....May Day is an important celebration of the achievements of humanity. We have got to fight to save the bank holiday."
In contrast, Solidarity general secretary Patrick Harrington says: "There is a simple solution. Why not add another public holiday to the nine the UK celebrates? After all, Italy has up to fifteen days and most of our European neighbours have many more days off than we do".

He added "The extra day off for the Royal Wedding proved that the country and business will survive if we have an extra day for St. George's Day and if instead, Trafalgar Day in October was opted for, it would break up the 'long haul' between August and Christmas".

Pat Harrington criticised the Government for not offering an additional day and other Unions for not suggesting it. He added: "The idea that (English) workers would prefer to celebrate May Day rather than St. George's Day or Trafalgar Day shows how out of touch some of these Union bosses are. They have allowed the ConDem coalition to frame the debate. If however they point out that workers in the UK get a raw deal compared to their European counterparts they can either call the Government's bluff or win their members a much earned extra day". He added "We shall be campaigning for at least one day to be added to the public holiday calender! This would not be instead of May Day but in addition to it."

Contact: Solidarity General Secretary, Patrick Harrington on 07794 486858 or [email protected] &
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