Workers in Japan and venezuela celebrated International Labour Day this year with mass rallies and political protests.
Workers in Japan and venezuela celebrated International Labour Day this year with mass rallies and political protests. The first of May is a commemoration dating back to 1986 when workers in Chicago first won the right to work an hour day.
SYNOPSIS: More than half a million people turned out in Caracas in Venezuela to march from Carabobo Park down the Avenue Mexico to the Central O'leary Square. The marchers were not only Venezuelans but also exiles from other Latin American countries of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
From a balcony above the street, President Carlos Andres Perez and other government leaders watched the march.
Across the world in the Japanese capital, of Tokyo, trade unionists and supporters gathered in the city's Yoyogi Park. A steady drizzle did not deter several hundred thousand people from turning out for Japan's May Day rally and parade.
Many of the marchers were carrying banners and placards criticising the economic policies of the government of Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda. Speakers emphasised that workers must be given a fair share of the country's prosperity.
In Japan the spring strike season has just finished. And the demonstration came hot-on-the-heels of many major trade unions accepting salary rises not much mor than half the increase they gained last year.