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Rallies Mark May Day Around the World

  • VOA News

Workers around the world took to the streets Friday to mark International Workers Day, more commonly known as May Day, with marches and calls for higher pay and better working conditions.

Thousands marched in rallies in Indonesia and the Philippines, where workers live on less than $2 a day, to demand a higher minimum wage, job protection and a halt to what is called "contractualization." Contract employees do not have the same rights and benefits as regular employees.

In South Korea, workers pledged to have a general strike if the government goes through with planned labor reforms.

Iranian workers held a May Day demonstration in Tehran for improved working conditions and to protest against foreign workers taking jobs in the Islamic republic.

Turkey is under a security shutdown as police attempt to stop unauthorized May Day demonstrations.

Greek unions called for a 24-hour strike. Thousands of Greek workers took to the streets in Athens to mark May Day and to protest the austerity reforms demanded by international lenders.

Meanwhile, in Germany, a May Day bicycle race was canceled after Frankfurt police stopped an Islamist attack ahead of the race.

Russian workers and students waved Russian flags on Moscow's Red Square for May Day.

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