Joint declaration of the WFTU-affiliated trade unions of Cyprus PEO, DEV-İŞ, KTAMS, KTÖS, KTOEÖS, BES, KOOP-SEN, DAÜ-SEN

Joint declaration of the WFTU-affiliated trade unions of Cyprus


International Workers Day 2024

United the working people of Cyprus, this year we shall again commemorate Workers Day, the international day of struggle and solidarity of working people.

May Day remains a steadfast timeless milestone in the struggles of the working class all over the world.  A day of remembrance and honour for the pioneering heroes of the Chicago Uprising of 1886, whose sacrifice became a symbol of struggle for the international working class. A day to mark the struggles of the working class all over the world for peace, for work with rights, for a society free from the exploitation.

On this historic day we honour the pioneers of the workers movement of our homeland, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots who, through fierce class struggles and in the spirit of internationalism and class solidarity, achieved fundamental gains for the working class of Cyprus.

Today, working people all over the world are suffering the consequences of the capitalist crisis.  Price hikes, expensiveness and inflation have further reduced working people’s living standards.  Millions of people are facing the risk of poverty and social exclusion due to the anti-social socio-economic policies imposed by the ruling political forces in the EU and elsewhere.

Capital and the political forces that support it are intensifying their attacks on trade union freedoms and rights won through ferocious struggles. Because of neoliberal policies, public goods such as education and health care are not universally accessible. The result of these policies is the widening of economic and social inequalities.

At the same time, the ongoing imperialist wars and interventions for the imposition of geostrategic interests are continuing, bringing misery and destruction, large waves of refugees and migrants. The war between Ukraine and Russia continues with dramatic consequences for both peoples.

Over the last six months humanity has been witnessing the targeted genocide and barbaric crimes being committed by the State of Israel, with the complicity of the USA and the European Union, against the Palestinian people. 

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot workers stand on the side of the people of Palestine.   We join with all the working people of the world in denouncing the genocide and the Israeli occupation. We express our full support for the right of the Palestinian people to an independent Palestinian state. 

The escalation of tensions in the Middle East endangers world peace as the vicious circle of retaliation can lead to the generalisation of war. The Cypriot working people who for more than fifty years have been suffering the results of NATO’s imperialist plans condemn wars and foreign interventions and stand with the forces fighting for peace to prevail.

On this symbolic day for the international working class, with our Joint Declaration, we reiterate the message that we do not compromise with the division.  The continuing stagnation [on the Cyprus problem] and the absence of dialogue, combined with the creation of new fait accompli, are leading to the permanent partition of our country.

We call on the two leaders to make creative use of the presence of the UN Secretary General’s Special envoy on Cyprus, far from any actions that create tensions, so that the procedure of the talks can be resumed from the point where they had remained at Crans Montana, with the sole aim of resolving the Cyprus problem on the agreed basis. 

For a just and mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem within the framework of a Bizonal, Bicommunal Federation, with political equality as defined in the resolutions of the UN, for a demilitarised and independent state, without “protectors” and “guardians”.

We will continue our struggle and joint actions with the sole aim of achieving peace and the reunification of our homeland.

In the current critical economic and social conditions, the solution of the Cyprus problem will give a new perspective and dynamic to the development and progress of Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latins.

With the solution of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of our country, we will be able to continue our common struggles in peace and security within the framework of a united economy, with a single system of labour relations and working conditions for all and with equal access to social rights.  Based on our common class struggles, we will be able to win more workers’ and social gains.

In the face of the attacks being waged by capital, confronting the voices of division and separation we strengthen the class solidarity, struggles and assertions of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot workers.  We march together with the international class-based trade union movement within the ranks of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) in the struggle for peace and social justice.

Long live International Workers Day!