international labour day

The History and Significance of International Labour Day

April 30, 2024 • 747 views

1st May is observed as International Labour Day globally every year. On this day, businesses and modern society celebrate the dignity of labour. This is part of the eight-hour day movement, which originated from the demand for a balanced allocation of time: eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, and eight hours for recreation.

When is International Labour Day Celebrated?

Every year, the 1st of May is observed as World Labour Day, dedicated to all working professionals and labourers worldwide. On this day, labourers and workers march for their rights against exploitation. This day is observed as a public holiday worldwide, including  India, China, Russia, France, Germany, and other countries.

International Labour Day History

It all started on 1 May 1886, when several labour unions went on strike in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America. This movement protested against the exploitation of labourers and workers who were overworked. The message from the movement was simple and clear—that workers shouldn't have to work for more than eight hours a day.

On the 4th of May that year, an incident of bomb blast took place in Chicago's Haymarket, which killed many people, including police officers and injured more than 100 people in the incident. The incident sparked a yearly demonstration on the 1st of May.

As the movement grew and became a success, the day was chosen to be celebrated as International Labour Day in memory of the protestors and people who lost their lives in the bomb blast incident in Chicago's Haymarket. Today, most countries celebrate Labour Day on May the 1st.

In India, the first Labour Day celebration was led by Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar, the founder of the first trade union. Two gatherings were arranged for this purpose: one at Triplicane Beach and the other at the beach just opposite the Madras High Court.

Today, many working professionals and labourers still face unethical practices such as pay cuts, undefined work hours, inappropriate behaviour, etc. May Day or International Labourer allows them to speak up and ask administrators and policymakers to make things fairer.

To Conclude

To wrap up, International Labour Day is celebrated on the 1st of May every year in India to raise awareness about the rights of workers and labourers and protect them from exploitation. This International Labour Day, let us express our gratitude and commit to creating a world where every individual is treated with dignity and respect.


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