May Day Rallies & Strikes: Bedlam in Bangladesh, Tear Gas in Turkey, Grounded in Greece, Eurozone Unemployment Hits New High…

MayDay 2013: Everything you need to know about May Day history, Law Day and maypoles on May 1

Believe it or not, May 1 has more significance than a cute “it’s gonna be May” meme featuring Justin Timberlake.

Perhaps you’ve always wondered about references to May Day. A Huffington Post contributorexplains May Day celebrations “were born more than a century ago out of a struggle by American workers for the eight-hour day.”

In the late 1800s, times were tough for workers in the U.S. You can blame the growing rise of corporations, which didn’t always create the best work conditions. Workers’ campaign for an eight-hour work day reached a milestone on May 1, 1886.

The aforementioned blog post notes:

Gradually, plans took shape for a day of worker protests demanding the eight-hour day. And on May 1, 1886, protests erupted all across the United States, with some 340,000 workers taking part. An estimated 190,000 went out on strike.

May Day Mayday…

May Day protests and Greek strikes – Eurozone crisis live

With unemployment at record highs and the eurozone in recession, Europe’s annual May Day holiday is being marked with a strike in Greece,
Grounded in Greece

Ferry and train services in Greece have ground to a halt as unions hold a strike for May Day.

And hundreds of people are gathering for planned rallies in central Athens Wednesday.

May Day rallies kick off with heated scenes in Bangladesh, Turkey

Bangladeshi protesters enraged by a deadly factory collapse led rallies across Asia against low wages and poor working conditions on May Day, as more demonstrations were rolled out across austerity-hit Europe.

With calls to end punishing belt-tightening measures in the Eurozone mounting, Greece’s two main unions called a general strike that caused disruption to transport services including ferries to the islands.

Rallies were called in more than 80 cities in Spain, where unemployment last week surged past 27 percent, to urge a radical change in EU economic policy, while unions in Italy were putting on a concert in the center of Rome.

Turkish police tear gas Labor Day protesters

Riot police gassed and fired water cannons at dozens of demonstrators trying to get to Istanbul’s Taksim Square for May 1 Labor Day demonstrations.

Eurozone unemployment hits new high

Eurostat data released as Spain’s economy shrinks for seventh consecutive quarter and Slovenia suffers ratings downgrade