Labour Day sees protests and picnics

Labour Day, May 1st saw protest rallies organised by workers hit by lower standards of living across Europe including North and South Cyprus.

EU countries, such as the Irish Republic, Greece, Portugal and Cyprus that have received bailouts and suffer high unemployment rates, all had their share of protest marches. The cry was that “austerity ruins and kills” and “reforms are robbery.”

Speaking at a rally in Nicosia, the president of Dev-Is, Mehmet Seyis expressed solidarity with all workers and made a special tribute to those who had lost their lives while labouring in the TRNC.

He said that the gap between the rich and poor was increasing; referring to changes in the law that affected workers’ rights and current economic policies.Cyprus News - Labour Day celebrations

Last month, Greek Cypriot trade union PEO and Turkish Cypriot trade union Dev-Is issued a joint statement after a meeting in Nicosia, denouncing the deregulation of labour relations. Dev-Is is the third largest trade union in the TRNC and has a history of bi-communal activities.

Amongst other issues, it said, developments in many European countries confirm that the economic crisis is being used to attack workers’ rights, abolish welfare policies and promote privatisations.

On a lighter note, elsewhere in the North, Labour Day was greeted with celebrations. People were in a good mood, enjoying the holiday, picnicking in the May sunshine.

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