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Putin congratulates Russians on Spring and Labor Day

May 01, 2014, 16:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The president promised that the state would continue interaction with trade unions, for which the protection of workers’ rights and improvement of labor conditions remains the main task
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metsel

MOSCOW, May 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated all working people on Spring and Labor Day.

The Russian leader of state recalled at a meeting with trade union leaders that May 1 has “old-established and even ancient” roots.

“Back in the Russian Empire it was celebrated as Spring Holiday, and then in the 19th century it started to acquire a political nature — May Day meetings, demonstrations started, but no matter how the form changed, its core always remained: this is a holiday of the beginning of labor activity of peasants who were preparing for spring sowing,” Putin noted. Therefore, he said, “originally and in essence, this holiday has always been Spring and Labor Day.”

The president promised that the state would continue interaction with trade unions, for which the protection of workers’ rights and improvement of labor conditions remains the main task. He expressed the hope that in the event of disagreements and disputes between the authorities and trade unions the sides in the future would be able to find compromise, balanced solutions.

Head of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FITUR) also congratulated Putin on the holiday. He said that more than 2.5 million people had gathered on Thursday for demonstrations throughout the country. In Moscow, the number of May Day demonstrations’ participants has exceeded 100,000.

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