More people will take to the streets for the July 1 protest if the government fails to introduce additional relief measures, unions warned yesterday as the economic downturn pushed numbers at Labour Day marches to a record high. Waving placards and carrying giant rice bowls made of balloons, more than 6,000 protesters in separate protests shared common demands: 'Preserve jobs! Fight against the financial tsunami! Stop lay-offs!' They also called for the introduction of financial aid for the jobless, transport subsidies for all low-income earners, the introduction of a statutory minimum wage as soon as possible and the creation of more jobs. Legislator Lee Cheuk-yan, the head of the Confederation of Trade Unions, which organised the march with the highest turnout, said the 3,500 marchers had sent a clear message to officials that public anger was reaching boiling point. 'The workers are suffering and the government is doing nothing because it is biased in favour of exploitative bosses, who fire workers and cut our wages without regard to our sweating for them when the economy is good,' Mr Lee said, before marchers left Victoria Park at 3pm on their way to the government offices in Central. 'If officials are not going to immediately increase relief measures, we will never stop and more will turn up on July 1.' Migrant workers' unions took a key role in the protest and demanded the administration include foreign domestic workers in the statutory minimum wage. Earlier in the day, the Federation of Trade Unions said at least 3,000 workers joined its march from Chater Garden, which began at 10.15am. FTU lawmaker Ip Wai-ming said more clerical workers had joined the protest because they had been hit hard by the financial downturn, especially those from the banking and finance sectors. 'The workers certainly are more emotional this year, as they have been badly affected by the economic crisis,' he said. 'We hope companies which enjoy profits will not take the financial tsunami as an excuse to cut workers' pay and welfare.' About 200 joined a march organised by the Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions and submitted a letter to a government representative, while about 100 people took part in a protest by the Neighbourhood and Workers' Service Centre in Central. Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said the global economy was still unstable and would need to be closely monitored. He said the secretary for finance had already promised a mid-year economic update and more financial relief measures would be introduced if necessary. Mr Cheung said the government would submit a bill on the statutory minimum wage on schedule. 'Whether live-in workers should be covered by the statutory minimum wage is a topic we are still studying,' he said.