Thousands join May Day protest in Manila

May 1, 2012, 6:08 AM

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – At least 8,000 workers have marched in the Philippine capital to demand an increase in the country’s minimum daily wage.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III rejected the May Day pleas for a $3 daily pay hike, saying it would worsen inflation, spark layoffs and turn away foreign investors.

Manila police chief Alex Gutierrez says about 8,000 members of a huge labor alliance marched for four kilometers (2.5 miles) Tuesday to the heavily barricaded Mendiola bridge near the presidential palace.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, some 500 people rallied, calling for a higher minimum wage than the one announced Monday by Prime Minister Najib Razak. Najib’s plan for the country’s first-ever minimum wage calls for minimum monthly pay of 900 ringgit ($297) for private-sector workers in peninsula Malaysia.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Thousands join May Day protest in Manila