Workers around the world mark May Day

International Labor and Solidarity Day marked with large rallies and demonstrations across the world
LONDON/PARIS: Workers across the world on Tuesday marked the International Labor and Solidarity Day, also known as May Day, with large rallies and demonstrations.
In the Russian capital, thousands of people led by Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin marched across the Red Square to commemorate the May Day.
The day, dedicated to workers around the world, is a public holiday in many countries.
It commemorates the struggle of the working class to win fair employment standards, historian Tatyana Sidorova told Anadolu Agency in Moscow on Tuesday.
People who worked most, earned less and did not have time to study and to top up their qualification, she added.
“These unjust conditions resulted in appearance of labor unions and labor movements which met a great resistance from the side of the industrial elite. But when the labor movement became mass, employers were forced to meet the demands and to improve work conditions,” she said.
In Austria, over 100,000 people gathered in front of the Municipality of Vienna building, where far-right groups protested.
– London, Athens, Paris
Thousands of people also gathered in British capital London on May Day for a traditional march. Gathering at Clerkenwell, the crowded procession continued into central Trafalgar Square.
Demonstrators shouted anti-government slogans to protest Brexit and austerity measures, as similar marches were organized in some other major cities across the U.K.
Thousands of workers and students in the Greek capital Athens protested against the government’s “belt-tightening” policies at the Sintagma Square where the parliament is located.
Some groups protested against NATO outside the U.S. Embassy in Athens.
Trade unions across France also held May Day rallies in support of workers’ rights.
In Paris, the march was marred by clashes between police and a large group of far-left anarchist groups clad in black.
Windows of certain businesse were smashed near the Austerlitz in eastern Paris, according to media footage. A construction vehicle was also set on fire.
The Paris prefecture later announced that more than 200 people had been arrested by the end of afternoon.
– 20,000 in Manila
In the Balkans region, various protests were held in Montenegro, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo, against poor conditions for workers in their countries.
In several major cities of Pakistan, including Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi, labor unions voiced concern over the lack of rights of workers.
In Manila, a crowd of around 20,000 individuals from different labor groups — the biggest number of protesters recorded since Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte assumed presidency in 2016 — gathered on Tuesday and protested against a labor contract executive order.
Earlier Tuesday, Duterte had signed an executive order aimed at ending illegal contracts and providing security to Filipino workers; However, protesters claimed it was “anti-workers” and useless.
Separately, the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation had also organized a gathering of workers.
The Hague’s Malieveld Square was filled with nearly 7,000 workers, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent.
The Netherlands is one of the countries that do not celebrate May Day officially.–AA

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