“A worker is a creator and a great asset to every nation.”
International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day in most countries and often referred to as May Day, is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement and occurs every year on the May 1st.
On the 21st of 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.1st of May was chosen to be International Workers’ Day to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. In that year beginning on the 1st of May, there was a general strike for the eight-hour workday.
The day commemorates past labour struggles against a host of workers’ rights violations, including lengthy workdays and weeks, poor conditions and child labour.
The International Workers’ Day is marked with celebrations, protests, strikes and commemorations around the world.
While the size and intensity of commemorations have ebbed and flowed over the years, several International Workers’ Day commemorations stand out.
In the US in 1971, as the war in Vietnam continued under the presidency of Richard Nixon, protests in Washington, spanned several days and included civil disobedience against the war and in 2016, large May Day protests and marches were held in countries across the world. In the Turkish city of Istanbul, protesters clashed with police while trying to reach the city’s iconic Taksim Square. There at least one protester was killed and dozens were arrested.
Let us shout out loud to thank all the labourers who have worked hard in bringing comforts in our lives. Let us honour them for without them no nation can walk the path of success and progress.