The Olympia Food Co-op
will be closed May 1st
for International Workers Day
in solidarity with
striking workers around the world
In the past, for a very long time, both stores were closed seven days of the year, including May 1st. Over the years, in consideration to better serve the membership and staff, and in acknowledgment that it is unrealistic to close for all holidays celebrated by everyone, we settled on being closed one day a year, January 1st, for inventory. Now that our inventory procedures have changed, we have decided to return to closing on May 1st, and to be open on January 1st.
Why May 1st? International Workers’ Day has a long history in this country and others, originating with the United States labor movement in the late 19th Century. On May 1, 1886, unions across the United States went on strike, demanding that the standard workday be shortened to eight hours. This was an important step in workers right to organize and to seek fair treatment from employers. While that particular day had a bloody ending and successes were slow, we look back on May 1st as a day that changed things for workers here and around the world.
Our mission, which includes to “support efforts to increase democratic process” and to “support efforts to foster a socially and economically egalitarian society”, drives our decisions in how to be a cooperative progressive business every day. We believe our position, as a collective with an egalitarian labor structure, makes it appropriate to choose International Workers’ Day as a day off in solidarity with others.
Our collective would like to acknowledge that other workers have to go on STRIKE to take this day of observance off, while we here at the Olympia Food Co-op have privilege to discuss the issues and come to a unified decision together, ultimately deciding to close in solidarity with the movement.
In recent years, May Day celebrations and rallies have focused on the struggles of oppressed communities and immigrant rights. This year is bound to be no exception, as many unions and groups allied with supporting immigrants and low wage workers are planning a day of action.
As this day is celebrated in numerous countries, with a variety of history and current events, much information can be found online. Here are some links we found to share with you:
Industrial Workers of the World – A Union for All Workers
The Brief Origins of May Day
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Beyond the Movement: Uniting Movements from April 4th to May Day
Beyond the Movement: Uniting Movements
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