“Workers are not slaves”, “Let`s make the strike free”, “A day for resistance, not rest”, “The journalists united for their rights”. Holding these paroles and shouting “Social Justice”, hundreds of citizens in Skopje took part in the protest to mark May Day, the internationals workers` day.
After the protesters had gathered in “Zhena Park”, the procession continued towards the Assembly of R. Macedonia, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the Government, before stopping at the Skopje Square.
“The working conditions of our workers today are no different to those of 1886, when the first protest took place. We are coming back organized in a trade union and we will find a way to impose our demands. This situation can no longer be tolerated”- stated Tamara Chausidis, the President of the Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers.
The President of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions, Marijan Risteski, called on the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy to have a look at the number of people working even on the day they celebrate.
Zdravko Saveski from the leftwing movement “Solidarity” believes that in conditions of infringement of the rights of workers, the only way to mark this day is by going on a protest.
- We demand that the rights of workers are respected and they have fixed working hours. If our Government turns a deaf ear to our demands, we won`t be waiting for the next May Day to go on a protest, but we will come out in higher numbers and we will protest again- stated Saveski.
In front of the building of the Macedonian Government, the President of the Trade Union of the Macedonian Diplomatic Service, Sashko Todorovski, made a parallel between the situation in Macedonia and that in Europe.
– German workers earn in two days what Macedonian workers earn in a month. With this fact in mind, it is not surprising that our youth leaves the country. Who would want to work in such appalling conditions- said Todorovski.
The protest was organized by the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM), the Trade Union of the Macedonian Diplomatic Service (SMDS), the Trade Union of Administration, Judiciary and Citizens` Associations (UPOZ), the leftwing movement “Solidarity”, The Movement for Social Justice “Lenka” and the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Macedonia (KSOM). These organizations are signatories to the Charter for Solidarity of Trade Unions and Associations for Protection of Labor Rights.