May Day 2021 marks a year of unprecedented attacks on the health and well-being of working people around the world, first by the coronavirus pandemic and the greedy pharmaceutical companies, and other corporations who saw the health crisis as an opportunity to make enormous profits. And then by the global capitalist economic crisis that threw billions of people out of work around the world, stripping working people of their savings, their homes, their health and their futures, while the world’s wealth and profits became ever more centralized and concentrated into the hands of the biggest corporations and the super-rich.
According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), Canada’s billionaires have increased their wealth by $78 billion since March 2020. “Canada’s top 47 billionaires now control $270 billion in total wealth… while Canada’s richest 87 families each hold, on average, 4,448 times more wealth than the typical family. Together these 87 families own more wealth than the bottom 12 million Canadians combined.” During the same time, 5.5 million Canadian workers lost their jobs or had more than half their hours cut during the pandemic, while 7 million applied for CERB benefits in April-May 2020.