In Largest May Day Turnout Since Pandemic, Workers Around the World March for Better Conditions

By Olivia Rosane / Common Dreams

Workers from Japan to France took to the street on Monday for the largest May Day demonstrations since Covid-19 restrictions pushed people inside three years ago. Marchers expressed frustration with both their nations’ policies—such as French President Emmanuel Macron’s raising of the retirement age in March—and global issues like the rising cost of living and the climate crisis.

“The price of everything has increased except for our wages. Increase our minimum wages!” one activist speaking in Seoul told the crowd, as The Associated Press reported. “Reduce our working hours!”

South Korea’s protests were the largest in the nation since the pandemic, with organizers predicting 30,000 people each would attend the two biggest rallies planned for the nation’s capital alone, Al Jazeerareported.

Activists there criticized right-wing President Yoon Suk Yeol, who has targeted some unions under the guise of reforming what he claims are irregularities. His government had also considered a plan to extend a cap on working hours to 69 a week, before backlash from younger Koreans forced it to reconsider in March, as CNN explained at the time. Already, scores of people die of overworking every year, so much so that there’s a special word for it: “gwarosa.” Some marchers called for the president to resign, Dr. Simone Chun tweeted….