efe-epaJakarta

Thousands of protesters on Monday held rallies across Asia demanding better wages and working rights to mark International Labor Day.

In the Indonesian capital, more than 10,000 workers gathered around 11 am for a rally to protest President Joko Widodo's labor policies, an epa journalist on the scene reports.

Labor groups including the Congress of the Alliance of Indonesian Trade Unions (Kasbi), the Federation of Indonesian Metal Workers Union (FSPMI), the National Workers Union (SPN), and Indonesian Trade Union Confederation organized the protest, in which the workers attempted to march to the presidential palace.

They were stopped by a police road block set up about 500 meters from the palace, manned by around 1,000 anti-riot police officers.

Several protesters threw their banners on top of the barbed wire at the road block and set them on fire, however there were no further incidents or arrests.

Dini from SPN told epa that the rally had been organized as the unions were disappointed by Widodo's policies on outsourcing labor, which they say harm the rights of local workers.

In the Philippines, hundreds took to the streets of Quezon City, east of Manila, around 8 am to call for an increase in the minimum wage, an epa journalist on the scene reports.

About 1,500 protesters marched along the city's main thoroughfare Quezon Avenue to the Mabuhay Rotonda roundabout, carrying large flags and banners with slogans like "Enforce 750 peso (about $15) national minimum wage" and "Increase wages, decrease prices".

The march was organized by labor groups Kadamay and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), who are calling for a minimum daily wage of 750 pesos for workers and a minimum monthly salary of 16,000 pesos for government employees.

Police officers kept watch at the route, and no incidents or arrests were reported.

Meanwhile in Manila, thousands of protesters affiliated with workers' rights groups like the KMU, Kadamay, Sentro and Bayan attempted to march to the United States embassy.

They were blocked by a cordon set up by anti-riot police officers, and after a brief scuffle the protesters dispersed peacefully, an epa journalist reports.

In Cambodia, thousands of workers rallied in central Phnom Penh around 8 am to call for improved working conditions, higher minimum wages and amendments to a law making it difficult for workers to unionize.

About 3,000 Cambodians were present at the rally, organized by labor union leaders including Ath Thorn and Vorn Pov, presidents of the Cambodian Labour Confederation and Independent Democracy of Informal Economy, respectively, an epa journalist on the scene reports.

The workers, many wearing red ribbons and bandanas with the phrase "Our rights", waved banners and Cambodian flags, as around 200 police officers kept watch.

The protest took place amid some controversy after it was banned by the local government, which claimed that it would cause traffic problems, according to the Cambodia Daily.

However no clashes or arrests were reported.

International Labor Day takes place each year on May 1 as a celebration of workers and labor rights, and is an official public holiday in several countries.