Labour day, also known as May Day or International Workers' day, is celebrated as a public holiday across all states and Union Territories. The purpose of this day is to recognise the contribution of labourers and the working class across the world. In the past year, we've seen this sector suffer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ever since this unprecedented crisis hit the world, daily wagers and labourers have suffered tremendously. While we're still grappling with this situation, we must do whatever little we can to help people in need. Besides that, let's also make sure to celebrate their contribution on Labour Day 2021. From Labour Day date to Labour Day history, here’s everything that you need to know about this day.
Labour day is celebrated annually on May 1. Apart from India, countries like Cuba and China also celebrate this day. On the other hand, some countries like the United States and Canada celebrate Labour Day on other dates significant to them. Labour Day history and origin stories vary from country to country but the theme remains the same --to take a stand against the exploitation of the labourers and working-class and also recognise their contribution and achievements.
May Day or Labour Day originated in the 19th century when the workers in the US trade unions raised their voice demanding a reduction in the working hours to 8 hours per day. This labour union movement advocated 8 hours of work, 8 hours of recreation and 8 hours of rest. The American Federation of Labour in the US chose May 1 as a day to continue this campaign which later became an annual event.
In fact, in 1889 this day was also chosen to be celebrated as Labour Day by the Marxist International Socialist Congress for political reasons. They met in Paris and established the successor to the International Workingmen's Association at the same time and also adopted a resolution for a mass demonstration in order to showcase support of the working class and labourers demands for the eight hour day.
In 1904, The international Socialist Congress of Amsterdam held the sixth Conference of the Second International from 14 August to 18 August. Held in Amsterdam's Gebouw, this conference called on 'all Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the eight-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace'.
Now that we know all about Labour Day history, let's understand Labour Day significance. In India, Labour Day was first celebrated in 1923 in Chennai by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan. According to India's history of Labour Day, a red flag was raised by communist leader Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar during the first celebration of this day. A resolution was also passed by the party leader urging the government to announce Labour Day as a national holiday.
Usually on Labour Day people participate in rallies, marches and protests to raise awareness about issues like minimum wage rights, migrant worker issues and other problems like forced labour. But amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we can use virtual mediums to raise awareness and get the conversation going. This Labour Day 2021, take a moment to express gratitude and appreciate all the workers for their contribution.
1. The first Labour Day parade took place in New York City in 1882 where over 10,000 union workers participated by taking unpaid leaves from work to march from the City Hall to 42nd Street.
2. In May 1886, when the labour unions went on a strike demanding an eight hours workday, there was a blast in Chicago's Haymarket Square three days later. It lead to the death of many and in order to honour these workers, the International Socialist Conference declared May 1 as Labour Day.
Also Read: Labour Day History & Significance
3. Canada actually celebrated Labour Day in 1872, about ten years before the US. Their Labour Day began with workers demanding a shorter workweek.
4. In the 19th Century in the US, labour and the working class worked 12 hours a day for seven days a week before the protests began. This is why Labour Day’s purpose was to reduce the working hours.
5. In the history of Labour Day, it has always been celebrated with protests and strikes and the once well-known movement was the US civil disobedience acts against the Vietnam War in 1971.
6. In India, Labour Day is also known as the Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas, Uzhaipalar Dinam or Kamgar Din.
Labour Day Quotes & Slogans: Ever since the pandemic, we’ve seen millions of frontline, healthcare and essential workers do their bit round the clock to save lives and to make sure that we get our supplies of essential commodities. This is why it is important to stand in solidarity with these hardworking professionals and celebrate their contribution. And what better way to celebrate the spirit of their hard work than sharing quotes, slogans and messages.
Best Labour Day Poems: On this public holiday, apart from raising awareness about the issues related to labourers and working-class people, we need to acknowledge their contribution. Here are some meaningful and beautiful poems to understand the significance of Labour Day better.
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On Labour Day 2021, we’d like to take a moment to thank all the frontline workers, corona warriors and essential workers for working tirelessly to save lives.
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