May Day 2012: Reminiscences of A Trade Unionist Turned Entrepreneur!

May 1 2012 was May Day, otherwise known as Workers Day or Labour Day and celebrated in most parts of the world annually as a day when the working class take time off to voice their grievances and seek for more justice on their jobs.

And so, May Day 2012 did not just live up to that tradition but really went beyond expectations.  From around the world – Canada, Germany, Spain, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, etc – it was protests and street demonstrations! Where the people did not pour out into the streets, mass rallies were held in stadiums.

America’s protest group, Occupy Wall Street, was not left out. In a statement posted at, the group appeared to all to join the protests:

Occupy Wall Street support May Day 2012

Occupy Wall Street supports May Day 2012


“Today, May 1st,

We celebrate a holiday for the 99%. Today, we come together across lines of race, class, gender, and religion to challenge the systems that create these divisions. New Yorkers join with millions throughout the world — workers, students, immigrants, professionals, houseworkers. We take to the streets to join in a General Strike against a system which does not work for us. With our collective power we are beginning to build the world we want to see. Another world is possible!

We call on everyone to join us: No work! No school! No shopping! Take the streets!”

Indeed, another world is possible!

However, as I watched the events on television, I had course to relive some 17 years ago when, as a worker, I fully engaged in trade unionism. May Day celebrations afforded us, as union officials, the opportunity of speaking out against the oppressive military junta that ruled my dear country then.

It was indeed a passionate time for us. With clinched fists punching the air, we sang the comrades’ solidarity song:

“Solidarity for ever!

“Solidarity for ever!!

“Solidarity for ever!!!

“For the Union make us strong!!!

Then it was fun but after about 7 years of getting involved I began to ask myself some very pertinent questions.

May Day Protests!

Why Put Your Life In The Hands Of Those Who Really Don’t Care?

Now these questions arose because I realized then that despite  the confrontation between the union and management for better wages and better working conditions, there wasn’t really any significant improvement, at least, not on the part of the workers.

And then I began to be agitated in mind. Soon I was questioning the  motto of the union body which is:

“Labour Creates Wealth!”

To me, it was something speaking directly to me. And so, every time when we had course to use it as a point in demanding for better conditions of service – because labour creates wealth the worker should given a better treatment – my heart goes something like:

Labour creates wealth? But for who? Who is the beneficiary of this wealth being created by labour?

It was actually those years of trade unionism and my reflections on what was going on that fanned the flames of entrepreneurship in my heart! I couldn’t stand the thought of labouring and others reaping the fruit of my labour. I’d rather produce wealth for my enjoyment than for others!

This is why May Day 2012 and all the demonstrations and confrontations only reminded me of those years and my decision that May Day Rallies will never be for me again. I’d rather be excited about taking control of my tomorrow than worrying about not getting a wage raise. I will not put my tomorrow in the hands of others.

I know that many who took to the streets this last Tuesday did so because of the economic situations around the world. There is no doubt that the political class have failed us. But we must not loose sight of the fact that politicians are not the solution to the world problems.

The Information Age Is Really an Opportunity for All of Us!

I’m writing this because I believe we are indeed living in an exciting time, unprecedented in our world’s history. An era filled with great and exciting opportunities, a time when you shouldn’t blame others for your misfortunes but when you should rise up and take your destiny in your own hands.

Some years ago, owning the land was considered a sign of being wealthy. Those who controlled the land controlled the working class. Then much later it was the factories and production when those who owned the industries owned the wealth.

But today, the commodity is information. Own the right information at the right time, and you own the wealth! And the good thing? With the internet, information can simply not be contained in just one place. It is available for all of us. It has no boundaries like land and factories.  And that is why anyone who really wants to be can be all he wants to be today.

I think it is really time to drop some of the old ideas about creating wealth or living the good life. While everyone cannot become an entrepreneur but aspiring to be one is not a bad thing. Many of the stories of online business successes I’ve read have always been people who at one time were in cooperate employment. Today they are making waves after experiencing some form of “disappointment” in their regular jobs!

I don’t know why you are reading this. If you are not online to build your own business please have a rethink. Let this article motivate you to do so right.

No other person can do for you what you cannot do for yourself!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re still working a day job or you’re fully running your own business online. Know that you can make it. What you need is the basic management skills that will help you run a successful business. Learn these skills today and they will be great for you tomorrow.

Another good thing about the internet is that you can really start small and learn as you go on. Nothing is better than that, earning why you are learning! Starting a blog is a good way to go. There is no doubt about it, the competition in the blogging arena is strife but even if you do not make much money from it right now the skills you will learn as a blogger will be of great help to you.

Every successful person understands the importance of communication skills like writing, speaking and negotiating and then that of selling and marketing. As a blogger you can easily become adept at these skills. Besides, being a blogger will also help you become a good teacher and a good student, a matter of being able to give and to receive which is also very important when it comes to building wealth.

And so, this is my point:

More and more of the working class should look into other areas of making our world a better place instead of taking up placards and blocking the streets. In a time like this, we all must be creative and make a way for our own lives.

It’s worth repeating that no one can do for you what you cannot do for yourself!

Or what do you think?

As always I love to connect with you in the comments section and so let me know your views. You can also help someone today by sharing this article with them.

  1. Living in the US most of my life, I did not know how serious other countries were about celebrating May first as a holiday. I was having a chat the other day with a man from Mexico, he was telling me that in his country, people get the day off. How neat it is that people celebrate that day.

    • @Rob Koenig,

      Yea, I understand that the day is actually celebrated as holiday in about 80 countries all over the world. From all indication it’s mostly pronounced in countries where the working conditions are not really what it should be. In my country it’s not just a day off but a big celebration as unions organizes parties for the workers after the day’s rally.

  2. Thanks for sharing such a valuable information. It’s really amazing.

  3. Reply
    bj @ consumer lists June 15, 2012 at 10:06 am

    It’s really interesting to know about May day.. And the most interesting thing is that how they celebrate this day!

  4. This information is really new to me, i really don’t know that there is a holiday in the U.S during the month of May, in the place where I use to live we have a celebration called the “Panagbenga” of the one we call flower festival during February.

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