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Workers demand higher wages, respect.

Byline: Associated Press

BERLIN -- Higher salaries, better working conditions, maternity leave, minimum wage and an end to discrimination against temporary or foreign workers: These were among the concerns as hundreds of thousands of union members and labor activists rallied around the world to mark May Day.

The tradition of May Day marches for workers' rights began in the United States in the 1880s. It quickly spread to other countries at a time when industrialization pitted poorly paid employees who had few protections and little power against increasingly dominant factory employers and landowners.

Over the decades, the May Day protests have also become an opportunity to air general economic grievances or political demands.

Puerto Rico

Thousands of Puerto Ricans marched to traditional music while protesting austerity measures, with many participants at a May Day event demanding the ouster of a federal control board overseeing the U.S. territory's finances.

Italy

Two protesters and a police officer were injured in the Italian city of Turin when police blocked a demonstration against the construction of a high-speed rail line between France and Italy, according to ANSA, an Italian news agency.

Among the protesters were members of the 5-Star Movement, a populist party that is in Italy's ruling coalition but is opposed to the tunnel.

Russia

Authorities in Russia said about 100,000 people took part in a May Day rally in central Moscow organized by Kremlin-friendly trade unions on Red Square. Opposition activists said more than 100 people were detained in several cities, including for participating in unsanctioned political protests.

In St. Petersburg, police arrested over 60 supporters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Some of them carried signs saying "Putin is not immortal," in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Title Annotation:World_
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:May 2, 2019
Words:287
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