May Day Celebrated In Kashmir, Workers Allege Class Discrimination

IMG_0498Shah Abbas

SRINAGAR

Hundreds of low paid workers and labourers assembled in three different locations in Srinagar on Wednesday to commemorate the first day of the month of May.

International Workers’ Day (also known as May Day) is a celebration of the international labour movement. May 1 remains a national holiday in more than 80 countries and celebrated unofficially in many other countries.

International Workers’ Day is the commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. The police were trying to disperse a public assembly during a general strike for the eight-hour workday, when an unidentified person threw a bomb at them. The police reacted by firing on the workers.

In the summer capital of Srinagar, hundreds of low paid employees and laborers assembled in Sher-e-Kashmir Park, TRC ground and Pratap Park to observe the day. They shouted slogans against what they call “Anti Labor Policies” of the state government. The people assembled in Pratap Park later organized a protest in the press colony and alleged the state government that it has been “violating” the rights of its low paid employees. They in particular highlighted the issues related to casual laborers and daily wagers. The protesters alleged that “Class discrimination has government patronage in Jammu and Kashmir”. The protest in TRC ground was led by CPI (M) state Secretary, M Y Tarigami. It was attended more by women who shouted slogans in favour of labourers and workers.

According to press release, National Panthers Party (NPP) joined the international celebration of May Day hoping that India and all its provinces (including J&K) shall respect the international guarantee of human rights and labour laws so that every citizen in India shall feel the taste of human dignity and equality.

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