- New York 05/02/2014 by Linda Perry (WBAI)
Throughout the world rallies were held on International Workers Day also known as May Day.
Workers protested austerity measures in Greece and Paris. They demanded higher wages and better working hours in Germany. They rallied in Russia, Cuba, Cambodia, Iraq and Iran. In Hong Kong workers called for improved working conditions and for the government to restrict the number of working hours.
In Bangladesh garment factory workers demanded the execution of the owner of a building that collapsed last year, killing more than 1,100 garment workers. Thousands in the Philippines protested low wages and replacing regular employees with temporary hires for low pay and little or no benefits. Malaysians protested against a goods and services tax they fear will increase the cost of living.
In New York City thousands attended a May Day Rally at City Hall Park. Dignity and respect for workers was a central message. The rally sponsored by the Labor Rights, Immigrant Rights and Jobs for All Coalition demanded an increase in the minimum wage and fair contracts for city employees, a halt to unjust deportations and national immigration reform.
Unions want building and construction projects done by union labor and to see laws which protects workers hurt on the job, like the scaffold law, preserved.
Rally organizers agree there’s much to be done, protection of low-wage workers from wage theft, building affordable housing, expansion of jobs in green energy and high-tech, and protection and expansion of good-paying work.
City and New York State officials joined the rally telling union members they have their backs.
Thousands rally at City Hall Park for workers' rights on May Day, International Workers Day, May 1, 2014