Tens of thousands participated in demonstrations in San Juan on May 1 as a strike was called against pro statehood Governor Luis Fortuño’s announcement to fire 30,000 workers. He has also backed Law #7 which allows him to disregad existing labor contracts. As workers marched he declared he was not backing down.

As in other recent labor actions (on Wednesday a call for a picket grew into a 15,000 strong protest against the governor's economic speech) there has been an effort by different labor federations to work together. Although Puerto Rican unions led the way, AFL and Change to Win unions have also participated in protests as their members are also in danger of loosing their jobs. AFL and Change to Win raided Puerto Rican unions of members promising better salaries and benefits. Now they face mass firings. They also opposed last year's teacher's strike and were later defeated when SEIU tried to represent teachers.

The Teachers Federation of Puerto Rico, UTIER (from the state owned electric company), workers of the state-owned water company, University of Puerto Rico unionized staff, bus drivers and mechanics, firemen; a total of at least 22 unions took part from the public and private sectors.

Left organizations like the Socialist Front, Refundacion Comunista, Movimiento Socialista de Trabajadores, Movimiento Al Socialismo and anti imperialist Puerto Rican Independence Party and Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano and thousands of students participated. Some leaders of the Popular Democratic Party (pro colony bourgeois party) also backed the strike call and have spoken at some rallies.

The first link is to the slideshow.

The second is to a video and news story in Spanish.

El Nuevo Día - El Nuevo Da

Calientan motores los empleados públicos - El Nuevo Da