Milan celebrates Labour Day with parade

Unions organise traditional May Day demonstration on safety in work place theme.

Tuesday 1 May will be marked in Milan with a march through the centre of the city, as workers across most of the world commemorate the bloody crushing of a strike in Chicago in 1886.

Starting at 09.30 in Corso Venezia, the colourful procession with flags, slogans and sound trucks will wind through the streets of the centre – Via Palestro, Piazza San Babila, Corso Matteotti, Via Case Rotte – to end up in Piazza della Scala, outside city hall.

Here senior representatives of the union federations will be interviewed live at the final rally by Alessandro Braga from the news staff of left-leaning Radio Popolare. The event will close with a concert by eclectic jazz musician Paolo Jannacci.

This year’s demo will be held all across Italy around the theme of safety at the workplace, say the CGIL, CISL and UIL union federation organisers, as reports of fatal accidents and injuries continue to shock readers across the country.

Statistics published by INAIL, the national institution for insurance against accidents in the workplace, showed a renewed increase in deaths of just over 1 per cent in 2017 after several years of decrease. Last year a total of 1115 deaths were recorded, or about three every day. But these figures, say the unions, do not take into account deaths in agricultural work, which is in a separate category, nor do they include accidents which do not result in death.

Older statistics released by Eurostat show that Italy is responsible for almost a third of workplace deaths in the European Union.

As the public holiday falls on a Tuesday, many businesses, public offices and other establishments will have made a “ponte” on Monday to create an ad-hoc long weekend.