Jobs plea at Labour Day event

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 May, 1998, 12:00am

Unionists took to the streets yesterday, Labour Day, to air their grievances.

Unions petitioned government headquarters and labour authorities, calling for urgent action to contain unemployment and encourage bigger pay rises.

The jobless rate hit a three-year high of 3.5 per cent last month. Union surveys showed many workers had had no wage increase this year.

The Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions urged the Government to cut fees to help improve the 'investment environment'. It also called for retraining programmes to be expanded so more jobless workers could be helped.

Members of the April 5th Action Group staged a street drama outside the Central Government Offices, accusing the business sector of ripping off workers.

They also presented a broken rice bowl - symbolising labourers' plight - to a government representative.

There was no official recognition of Labour Day, but a government spokesman said May 1 would be a public holiday from next year.