Unionists took to the streets in two protests yesterday, demanding the government provide jobs and protect employees during the financial crisis. Fifty members of six unions representing construction workers marched from Chater Garden in Central to government headquarters in a rally organised by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions. They said that because of the financial crisis, many construction workers were unable to find work or could only get temporary jobs. 'Most of the workers make HK$10,000 a month if they have a job, but for those who don't, all they can do is rest,' said Shek Lam-shang, deputy organising secretary of the Construction Site Workers General Union. The protesters urged the government to launch construction projects and to create jobs that last months rather than days. Rather than relying on the 10 big infrastructure projects proposed in the 2007 policy address, the government should look to smaller projects that could benefit the city, such as repairing homes and water pipes, which would provide work sooner, Mr Shek said. Choi Kwok-chan, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Dumper Truck Drivers Association, urged the government to use local soil excavated when foundations are laid or slopes repaired for land reclamation rather than importing sand for the purpose. Such a change could create jobs for Hongkongers, he said. Earlier, members of the Hong Kong & Kowloon Trades Union Council marched - also from Chater Garden to government headquarters - to urge that the administration stop employers firing workers, set a minimum hourly wage of HK$30 and review labour legislation. Fifteen representatives of the food and beverage, transport and securities services trades took part, said Lee Kwok-keung, chairman of the council. The Labour Department should monitor how employers hire and fire workers, and request an employer provide a formal explanation if it fired more than 50 people, Mr Lee said. 'The law can't prevent employers firing people, but it can help protect employees,' he said.