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May Day is marked around the world with demands for stronger labor rights

Dita Alangkara / AP

Indonesian workers shout slogans during a rally to mark May Day in Jakarta on May 1, 2012. Thousands of Indonesian workers staged the rally demanding the government raise the minimum wage and reject outsourcing.

The Associated Press reports — May Day moved beyond its roots as an international workers' holiday to a day of international protest Tuesday, with rallies throughout Asia demanding wage increases and marches planned across Europe over government-imposed austerity measures.

Thousands of workers protested in the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan and other Asian nations, with the demand for wage hikes amid soaring oil prices a common theme. They said their take-home pay could not keep up with rising consumer prices, while also calling for lower school fees and expressing a variety of other gripes. Read the full story.

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A man carries a poster reading "Putin is our President!" during the May Labor Day rally of the Russian Trade Unions and United Russia party in Moscow on May 1, 2012. Russia's president-elect Vladimir Putin and outgoing head of state Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday joined over 100,000 people in a Soviet-style mass march through Moscow.

Bullit Marquez / AP

Protesters dance around the burnt effigy of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III during a May Day rally near the Presidential Palace in Manila on May 1, 2012. Thousands of workers marched under a brutal sun in Manila to demand a wage increase amid an onslaught of oil price increases, but the Philippine President rejected a $3 daily pay hike which the workers have been demanding since 1999 and warned may worsen inflation, spark layoffs and turn away foreign investors.

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Bahraini Shiites attend a demonstration celebrating Labor Day in the village of Muqsha'a on April 30, 2012. Many Shiite employees were either dismissed or indefinitely suspended from their jobs in the wake of a brutal crackdown by the Bahrain government.

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Indian sex workers hold candles and posters as they march in a May Day rally asking for their rights and the recognition of their profession in Kolkata, late on April 30, 2012.

Vincent Thian / AP

Visitors takes picture in front of Tiananmen gate in Beijing, China, on May 1, 2012. Tens of thousands of visitors flock to the area around Tiananmen Square to enjoy a public holiday to mark May Day.

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (2nd L), Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (2nd R), Independent Trade Unions' Chairman Mikhail Shmakov (L) and State Duma deputy Viktor Pinsky (R) toast in a bar after attending a rally in Moscow on May 1, 2012.

Abir Abdullah / EPA

Garment workers attend a rally to mark May Day at Paltan in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on May 1, 2012. Different workers organizations have arranged programmes inluding a rally, seminars and cultural events as they demand the establishment of workers' rights.

Farooq Khan / EPA

Laborers drilling a mountain to extract rocks inside a stone quarry on May 1, 2012 in Srinagar, Kashmir. Local labor leaders told media their colleagues at many construction sites were denied a May Day public holiday by their employers.