March Held on 1 May Labour Day

Labour Day March - 2024

Unions and organisations from both sides of the island held a joint event in the buffer zone in Nicosia on International Labour Day, under the slogan “Shoulder to Shoulder for Peace and Social Justice”, Yeniduzen reports.

 Organised by PEO from the South and DEV-İŞ, KTAMS, KTÖS, KTOEÖS, BES, KOOP-SEN, DAÜ-SEN from the North, and supported by some civil society organisations from both sides, the joint May Day demonstration conveyed a message of “solidarity and joint struggle for peace and social justice”, along with a message of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

 Participants from the North gathered at Kuğulu Park at 9.30 am with banners and flags, marched towards Çetinkaya (Taksim) Square (opposite the Solidarity House), passed through Ledra Palace, and met with Greek Cypriot participants who marched from the South. 

During the march from Kuğulu Park to the buffer zone, banners with slogans such as “Labour, Peace, Freedom,” “Ban Employment Without Union,” and “Stop the Immigration Law” were carried, and chants of “Long Live May 1st” were raised. 

The event was attended by the 2nd President Mehmet Ali Talat, opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman, Nicosia Turkish Municipality Mayor Mehmet Harmancı, union representatives organising the joint event, and some representatives and members of civil society organisations and political parties. 

After the union representatives greeted the workers gathered in the buffer zone, a joint May Day statement was read in both languages ​​by DEV-İŞ President Koral Aşam and PEO Secretary General Sotirulla Haralambus. Following the joint statement, Kulis Theodoru and Umut Albayrak performed a concert.

 DEV-İŞ President Koral Aşam, who read the joint May Day statement, said that as Cypriot workers, they celebrated International Workers’ Day, the day of struggle and solidarity of the world’s workers, together this year as well, and expressed their respect and honour for the pioneers of the labour movement in Cyprus. 

Aşam pointed out that today, inflation and high prices further reduce the living standards of workers, and economic and social inequalities have increased as a result of neoliberal policies. He also mentioned that wars and interventions in the world continue to lead to impoverishment, destruction, and large waves of refugees and migrants, and highlighted the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia. 

As Cypriot Greek and Cypriot Turkish workers, we are with the Palestinian people“, Aşam said, stating that “the whole world witnesses the genocide carried out by the state of Israel against the Palestinian people“, and added, “As Cypriot Greek and Cypriot Turkish workers, we stand with the Palestinian people. We unite our voices with all workers of the world against genocide and occupation by Israel and express our full support for the Palestinian people’s right to an independent Palestinian state“. 

Aşam stated that escalating tension in the Middle East jeopardises world peace, condemning wars and foreign interventions as workers and standing on the side of forces fighting for peace to prevail.

Picnic at Pinarbasi - Bay-Sen

Meanwhile, BRTK reported that Bayrak Radio and Television Corporation Employees Union (BAY-SEN) organised their traditional barbecue picnic at Pınarbaşı to celebrate Labour Day.

Yeniduzen, BRTK

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