Global Voices reviews the May 1, 2013 Labor Day protests in Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore. The rallies, which were organized to echo the various demands of workers and advocacy groups, were relatively peaceful across the region.
In Cambodia, more than 6,000 garment workers were joined by students, NGOs, and urban poor residents in Phnom Penh City who marched from the Freedom Park to the National Assembly calling for living wages and improved working conditions.
In this video uploaded by the Community Legal Education Center, the main demands and situation of Cambodian workers were summarized:
In Indonesia, thousands of workers marched in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta to commemorate Labor Day. Among their demands were the “fulfillment of the minimum wage, health insurance and safety for workers, as well as refusing outsourcing.”
In the Philippines, labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno is disappointed with the labor policies of the government:
We mark the 127th International Workers’ Day and its 110th celebration in the Philippines with a nationwide protest condemning the rabidly anti-worker and pro-capitalist regime of Pres. Noynoy Aquino.
Aquino has again rejected workers’ calls for a significant wage hike, the junking of contractual employment and a stop to trade-union repression. He has bragged about non-wage benefits and his government’s efforts at creating jobs.
Highlights of the Labor Day events in Manila were featured in this video uploaded by EJ Mijares:
In Singapore. Gilbert Goh of transitioning,org wrote about the historic Labor Day protest in Singapore:
We realised that we are also creating another piece of history in Singapore here as so far no one has managed to organise a labour day event from the ground up – ever and we are proud to be able to do so for the first time!
We may even contemplate doing an annual labour day protest from now on – like what many other countries have done for decades.
The event is a sequel protest to the February action which gathered thousands of Singaporeans opposed to the government’s population policy paper. In this video, Singaporeans explained their reasons for organizing and joining the action.