423,000 rally for May Day in Germany: unions

1st May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Some 423,000 people rallied in towns and cities across Germany on Sunday for traditional May Day demonstrations, trade union federation DGB said, around 60,000 fewer than in 2010.

"May 1 is not a public holiday. It is a day when we demonstrate for the rights of working people," DGB head Michael Sommer said at the main rally in Kassel, central Germany.

"Fair wages, decent work and social security is the minimum that workers in this country expect, need and have to fight for again and again," he said, calling the rallies a "clear signal" to Chancellor Angela Merkel's government.

The turnout last year was estimated by the DGB at 484,000.

Europe's biggest economy has shown a strong rebound since suffering its worst postwar recession in 2009, recording growth of 3.6 percent in 2010 and unemployment currently at its lowest level in around 20 years.

© 2011 AFP

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