History of Labor Day
On 21 April 1856, Australian stonemasons in Victoria undertook a mass stoppage as part of the eight-hour workday movement. It became a yearly commemoration, inspiring American workers to have their first stoppage and May 1 was chosen to be International Workers’ Day or Labors Day to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago, United States of America.
On May 1, 1886, a union of workers announced a general strike demanding fair treatment of workers and an 8-hour workday in Chicago. The strike, unfortunately, turned violent on May 4 as an unidentified person threw a bomb which forced the police to respond by firing on the workers. This event led to the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians, sixty police officers were injured, as were one hundred and fifteen civilians.
uring the Cold War, Labor Day became a significant event for large military parades which were attended by top leaders. It became an enduring symbol of that phase. To date, countries such as China, Vietnam, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and former Soviet Union countries signify May 1 as an official holiday featuring military parades on the day.
May Day, also known as Labour Day or International Workers’ Day, is a national holiday in the majority of European countries, including Sweden, France, Poland, Finland, Norway, Spain, Germany, and Italy. The day is also observed in Panama, Cuba, Mexico, Guyana, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. And India also.
Significance of Labor Day
The union strike of 1886 in the United State of America gave birth to a worldwide movement for workers and May 1 became an annual event for workers to speak up against the industrial exploitation, unfair treatment, paid leaves, proper wages, and breaks for the workforce. And to date, the majority of countries around the world celebrate Labor Day on May 1.
Labor Day in India
In 1923, India celebrated its first Labor Day in Chennai. This day was observed by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan when communist leader Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar asked the Government of India to consider May 1 as a national holiday to symbolize the efforts and work of the workers. May 1 or Labor Day is also known as Kamgar Divas, Kamgar Din, and Antrarashtriya Shramik Divas in India.
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