Thousands march in Medellin for ‘International Workers’ Day’

Posted on May 1 2014 - 7:58pm by Today News
(Photo: Wesley Tomaselli)

Near 5000 workers took to the streets of Medellin Thursday in honor of “International Workers Day” or “Labor Day,” while calling for better working conditions, according to local media.

Medellin’s downtown area became flooded with laborers Thursday morning, as workers across Colombia were given day off and marched to join an annual May 1 international movement to celebrate the working class.

“This march is not against anything, but rather it is in favor of those in Colombia who should be given more decent and dignified work,” said Ruben Gomez, president of Antioquia’s General Confederation of Labor, the state’s primary labor union. Gomez also said that workers should be given their proper “compensation and contracts.”

The labor leader recognized challenges that currently face miners, artisans, and the farming population of Colombia and hopes that the government complies with all of the agreements that came about late last year after widespread striking across different sectors, according to El Colombiano newspaper.

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Earlier this week, many farmers — notably those growing coffee, rice and potatoes — already went on strike independent of Thursday’s marches, alleging the failure of the government to comply with last year’s agreements.

MOREColombia’s government to meet with striking farmers

There have already been international reports of violence on the part of government forces against strikers.

MORE14 arrests and 27 police injured during Colombia strikes: Commander

Today however, Medellin’s union’s met little trouble as they marched throughout the central area known as “El Centro,” as they were accompanied by the National Police, according to local media.

Banners and signs showed support for dignified working conditions.

Colombia’s workers will return to their jobs Friday after celebrating this national holiday of rest.


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