International Labour Day:  a day to honour labourers globally

International Labour Day:  a day to honour labourers globally

International Labour Day is celebrated to honour the labourers and the working classes and their contribution. It is celebrated yearly as an official holiday all over the world to celebrate the accomplishments of workers. People enjoy celebrating Day by arranging a big party and lots of programmes. This day is also known as May Day around the globe. May Day is an official public holiday for many countries like the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba, and Russia. The day marks the acceptance of a maximum of 8 hours as the official working hours of employees in a day and honours the sacrifices and protests of workers during the 19th century.

During industrialization in the starting of 19th Century, the industrialists used to exploit the labour class and made them work up to 15 hours in a day. The workers raised their voice against this exploitation and demanded paid leaves, proper wages and breaks for the workforce. The eight-hour day labour movement advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. Labour Day annually celebrates the achievements of the workers.

While the day has a different story for different countries, the major reason for Labour Day is unfair treatment of the labour class. 1 May was chosen to celebrate as International Workers’ Day to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. In the same year, on 1 May, there was a general strike for the eight-hour workday. This May Day is also remarkable as this day child labour was prohibited in India under the Child Labour Act of 1986, which bars employing people below 14 years. The Act was directed for achieving better labour standards and to avoid any abuse or maltreatment of children by industries and industrialists.

Labour Day is dedicated to the workers for their economic and social achievements. In India, first Labour Day was celebrated on May 1, 1923. It was organized by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan.

The theme of this year’s International Labour Day is Sustainable Pension for all: The Role of Social Partners.


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