CHINA: BreakingNews: Labor Day protests marked by more casino workers and diversified appeals

Friday 2 May 2014

Date: 1 May 2014

Type: News

Source: Macau Daily Times

Keywords:Labor day protest

Over 1,000 protestors from about 15 groups took the streets today afternoon to voice out various concerns, demanding better working and living conditions as well as a reform of the political system.

This year’s Labor Day march demonstrated a wider variety of concerns and larger participation of casino workers. While gaming industry employees united to urge for a full smoking ban in casinos, youth groups appealed for a reshaping of the living space for residents.

Passing by mainlander visitors in the central district, some protestors took the opportunity to shout specific slogans in Mandarin: “restrict the individual visit scheme” and “[we] refuse second-hand smoking.”

Like in previous years, livelihood issues such as affordable housing, public transportation, healthcare, education, and public facilities continued to be stressed in the annual march. Meanwhile, demonstrators held banners and shouted slogans appealing for “a transparent and accountable government.”

With the Chief Executive election around the corner, several grassroots labor groupsalso called for “a competent candidate to step up,” further demanding universal suffrage for both the Chief Executive and the Legislative Assembly.

Moreover, a group of parents petitionedto the government to grant residency for their mainland-born adult children.

In the morning, an unprecedented motorcade of 31 cars and nine motorcycles was organized by four casino workers groups under the Macau Federation of Trade Unions (FOAM). Departing from Taipa,they eventually handed in a petition letter to the Legislative Assembly against the importation of foreign labor, while demanding a fair promotion system.

Lawmaker Au Kam San acknowledged on site that “the appeals in this year’s march are more diversified compared to before, as society is entering transformation.” He also believes that a larger crowd of casino workers participated in the march this year because “they feel threatened” in terms of employment, health and living conditions.

The Public Security Police (PSP) stated that the march proceeded in an orderly manner. A total of 200 police agents were dispatched for the march. ###

See online : Macau Daily Times

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