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Around the world on May Day

05.05.2015

On May Day, people all over the globe took to the streets to manifest their support and solidarity with issues workers are faced with on an everyday basis.

In Fort Dauphin, Madagascar, IndustriALL affiliate FISEMA dedicated the manifestation to the fight against precarious work and health and safety at Rio Tinto operations in the country.

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, Amirul Haque Amin, president of IndustriALL affiliate National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF), urged garment workers to build a united movement to ensure there is no repetition of the Rana Plaza and Tazreen tragedies.

IndustriALL staff in Geneva marched to call an end to asbestos. Every five minutes someone in the world dies from asbestos related illnesses, yet a staggering 2 million tons asbestos is produced every year. 

IndustriALL also demanded Holcim and Lafarge to respect workers rights in the ongoing merger proces.

The IndustriALL Pakistan Council marched in solidarity in front of the Karachi Press club.

More than 500 garment workers in Pakistan participated in a labour conference organized by Pakistan Textile Garments & Leather Workers (PTGLW), discussing among other things contract work, wages, and health and safety issues.

In Guatemala demonstrators called for the respect of workers’ and human rights, as well as for freedom of association.

In Australia IndustriALL affiliate CFMEU came out in force under the slogan Touch one, touch all!

At a May Day rally in Chattisgarh, India, organized by INTUC and INMF, speakers urged the government not to take steps to withdraw the freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike.

IndustriALL general secretary Jyrki Raina says:

May Day is a day for celebrating the fight for workers’ rights. It is a day to tell the world that workers are here and they will stand up for their rights. Seeing all the wonderful action from IndustriALL affiliates around the world shows exactly that – trade unions will not go away!

However, May Day is not necessarily a peaceful celebration of workers’ rights everywhere, as this article in Equal Times shows.

In Turkey police fired rubber bullets at demonstrators, and in Bahrain authorities banned the annual May Day rally.