Suffering austerity measures imposed by many of the world’s governments to deal with a lack of public funds, workers and activists rallied around the globe May 1 to demand the creation of jobs, decent wages and improved working conditions. –ARK


In Athens, Greece’s capital, thousands of workers from various labour unions marched down Syntagma Square on Sunday in a demonstration against the government’s austerity measures.

… the measures taken have included wage reductions and layoffs, primarily in the public service, and future measures include more downsizing and extending working hours in the civil service.

… In Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, pro-labour and anti-IMF demonstrations took place as delegates from the IMF, World Bank and the EU negotiated the terms of a bailout with the government.

… Elsewhere, about 200,000 workers gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square in the largest May Day rally in the Turkish city since 1977, when 34 people after shooting triggered a stampede. Turkish unions were not allowed back until last year.

In Spain, where the unemployment has reached a euro zone high of 21.3 per cent, several thousand people gathered in the eastern port city of Valencia and condemned the government’s failure to create new jobs.

… In South Korea, police said 50,000 people took part in a May Day rally in the capital, Seoul, for better labour protections.

… In the Philippines, about 3,000 workers demanding higher wages held a protest in a Manila square that included setting alight the effigy of Benigno Aquino III, the Philippine president, grinning in a luxury car.

Aquino was criticised this year for buying a secondhand Porsche in a country where a third of people live on a dollar a day.

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