SOME 400,000 people took to the streets in Germany yesterday, on International Workers' Day, to demand fair wages, better working conditions, and sufficient social security.
The head of the country's unions' umbrella group, Michael Sommer, said the turnout -- similar to last year's -- was a clear message to the government that it should give up its refusal to introduce a national minimum wage.
"Fair wages, good jobs and social security are the minimum standard in this country that workers expect, need and have to fight for time and again," Mr Sommer said at a protest in the central German town of Kassel.
In Berlin, several rallies were scattered across the city, with police saying 10,000 people had taken to the streets.
Some 8,000 gathered late in the afternoon at a demonstration called for by leftist groups, with police out in force as past demonstrations had turned violent.
Marchers carried banners saying: "This is the least: fair salaries, fair jobs."