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May day in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Basseau

May 4, 2000

May Day, the workers day, was commemorated in at least 3 Lusophone African countries.

In Luanda, 30,000 people paraded through the streets, demanding the end of the war and better salaries. The event, one with official approval, marked a return to the "old style" parades with floats, which were common after independence.

In Mozambique, on the other end, the celebrations took a more adversarial tone. Fifteen thousand people participate in a demonstration in Maputo, convened by the "Confederacao de Sindicatos Livres e Independentes/Confederation of Free and Independent Unions". The marchers focused on unemployment (8,000 public sector workers lost their jobs in 1999 due to privatization and bankruptcy), and on the minimum wage (the workers organizations want it raised from USD$30 to USD$130) Another demand that the government promised to satisfy is the creation of "Labor Courts".

In Guinea-Bissau, a planned demonstration was postponed. The main celebration was the distribution of medals by President Yala to individuals and organizations that played an outstanding role in the political-military crisis that just ended. However, as a member of the government stressed, the future of labor relations might not be as peaceful, as the country has a large excess of public servants.

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From:  http://www.infoshop.org

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