KIEV, May 1 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich congratulated the nation on the International Day of Working People’s Solidarity on Tuesday.
“This spring holiday is a perfect occasion to express respect for everyone who adds to the home country’s prosperity with one’s labor,” the president. He expressed the hope that reforms he had initiated “would lay down the foundation of economic growth and prosperity of Ukrainian citizens.”
Trade unions and the Communists held rallies and marches on the main street of the Ukrainian capital city, Kreschatik. The Communist action gathered several thousands of people from many regions of Ukraine. The Trade Union Federation called on “people who care about their future” to join it. The National Trade Union Forum – the second largest trade union association in the country – installed the Truth Wall, a huge stand with the caption, “Don’t be Silent, Tell the Authorities the Truth.” Anyone wishing could write their demands on that stand. Photographs of the Truth Wall will be sent to the government and the parliament. On Monday the National Trade Union Forum demanded to amend the Ukrainian Labor Code and to cut the working week from 40 to 35 hours without lowering the pays.
More than 4,000 policemen are providing law and order in Kiev. The police asked citizens to be vigilant and to report any suspicious persons or things immediately. A reinforced detail isolated from the demonstrations the tent camp of ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko supporters, which was built in front of the Kiev Pechersky District Court building about a year ago.
The weather is fine in Kiev, and air temperatures are 23 degrees Centigrade. Many people preferred spending May 1 in the countryside rather than joining the rallies.