Labour Day march in Hong Kong

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Labour Day 2008 march in Hong Kong

Just like three years ago when I bumped into the annual Establishment Day march (July 1st), I again bumped into another march, this time for Labour Day, May 1st. I was walking in Wan Chai, near the small basketball court (nor Southorn), when I saw the local police cordoning off the left-most lane of Hennessy Road, one of Hong Kong Island’s main artery (where the tram circulates). I first thought that they were doing some sort of repetition for today’s Olympic flame march, but it wasn’t the case, clearly as I saw the people with loudspeakers chanting familiar labour union slogans in Cantonese.

>> Listen to the march passing in Wan Chai (~25mins – 11Mb)

I would say that a good half of the marchers were migrant workers, usually what seemed to be domestic helpers as they are usually called. Can’t quote a number for this entry, but a majority of middle-class families employs domestic helpers in Hong Kong. They typically come from the Philippines, but based on the posters I’ve seen, also from Nepal, Thailand, and Indonesia. On this public holiday, they took the street on their day off (who aand chanted “ga yaan gong”, for “raise salary”.

It was a small, peaceful march. I am going to see the Olympic torch today in Wan Chai, the last leg of its passage in Hong Kong. That is, if I can get even get near the path!

Flickr set of the event

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