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International Labour Day: May 1

Date: 01 May 2019 Tags: Days & Dates

The International Labour Day is celebrated every year on May 1 across the world to honour the contribution of working men and women. Observance of this day aims to pay tribute to sacrifices of workers in achieving economic and social rights all over world. The theme for this year's is "Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement".

Background

  • The International Labour Day also known as Workers' Day, Labour Day or May Day to honour the contribution of working men and women. The date was chosen by pan-national organization of socialist and communist political parties to commemorate Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886.
  • During industrialization at beginning of the 19th Century, industrialists used to exploit labour class and made them work up to 15 hours a day. The workers at Haymarket affair in Chicago had rose against this exploitation and demanded paid leaves, proper wages, breaks for the workforce and safety at work. 
  • After the workers struggle, eight-hours was declared as the legal time for the workers in the national convention at Chicago by American Federation of Labour in 1886. So this day marks victory of the workers' movement for eight hours of work.
  • In India, the first Labour day was celebrated in Chennai in 1923. It was organised by Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan.