May Day Rally and March in Hong Kong
More than 1800 workers and supporters joined the May Day
rally and march organized by the Hong Kong Confederation
of Trade Unions (HKCTU) on Labour Day. The HKCTU called
for improvement of workers rights, minimum wages, shorter
working hours and to end the on-going coalition between
the government and businessmen.
Under a high temperature of 31°C the protesters marched
from Victoria Park to the Central Government Offices, a
journey that took more than two hours to complete. Lee Cheuk-yan,
HKCTU General Secretary and Legislator, said workers had
been badly exploited during the economic recession, working
longer hours for less money.
The HKCTU also linked its cause to demands for universal
suffrage for the elections of the chief executive in 2007
and the Legislative Council in 2008. "Workers will
be further exploited if government is not fully elected
and continues to allow the business sector to influence
major policies," Mr. Lee said.
Two banners in English and Chinese showed "Respect
the Global Unions", "Fair Play at the Olympics",
and "Respect Sportswear Workers Rights." They
were carried by demonstrators of the Clothing Industry,
Clerical and Retail Trade Employees General Union, all the
way to the government offices.
A 20,000-signature petition voicing the protesters' grievances
was received by a representative of the government.
International Secretary, HKCTU