International Workers' Day (May 1): History, Meaning, Celebrations, Wish and Quotes
Labour Day or International Workers' Day is celebrated annually on 1 May to celebrate the working class and laborers across the world. Socialist and labor unions celebrate this day by organizing programs to improve wages and working conditions of the workforce. In more than 80 countries Labour Day is a national holiday.
International Workers' Day: History
The origin of Labour Day goes back to an incident in Chicago on May 4, 1886, known as the Haymarket Affair. On this day workers assembled as part of a peaceful rally in a strike demanding an eight-hour workday. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at the police as they acted to disperse the meeting, and the bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; dozens of others were wounded, Scroll cites.
|Photo: Age of Revolution|
The Chicago protests are now celebrated as Labour Day on 1 May. These protests led to many countries, including India, following an eight-hour workday. The first Labour Day in India was celebrated on 1 May 1923, in Chennai. It was organized by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan.
Why do we celebrate International Workers' Day?
International Workers' Day is a celebration of working people and a day when people campaign for decent work and fair pay. Thanks to action taken by workers over many years, millions of people have won fundamental rights and protections. Minimum wages have been established, there are limits on working hours, and people have the right to paid holidays and sick pay, British Council cites.
However, in recent years, working conditions in many situations have got worse. Since the global financial crisis of 2008, part-time, short-term and badly paid work has become more common, and state pensions are at risk. We have also seen the rise of the 'gig economy, where companies hire workers casually for one short job at a time. These workers don't have the usual rights to paid holidays, the minimum wage, or redundancy pay. Solidarity with other workers is as important as ever.
How is International Workers' Day observed?
International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a part of the United Nations Organisation that works towards improving the working and living standards of workers all over the world. On 1 May every year, the ILO conducts rallies and marches across the world to create awareness about issues like forced labor, minimum wage law, and the rights of migrant workers.
10 Facts about International Workers' Day
#1. On May 1, 1886, workers took to the streets across the United States in a major struggle to reduce the worldwide 12-hour workday to today's eight-hours. This is said to be the first May Day ever celebrated. However, International Workers' Day came about after the Haymarket affair, organized to protest harassment and persecution against workers. The odd thing is how few people in the U.S. know about May Day; it was later decided the country would celebrate Labor Day every year on the first Monday of September. This day, of course, is celebrated in Canada as well.
#2. Although there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers, some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold." But many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, proposed the holiday in 1882 when he was serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York, Tele Sur cites.
#3. Hundreds of countries around the world have recognized International Workers' Day, although only about 60 actually celebrate the holiday.
#4. The U.N.’s International Labor Organization has found that as the population of the world approaches 7 billion people, 3 billion are employed and about 240 million are unemployed.
#5. According to the ILO, despite the 2008 crisis, the rate of unemployment has been between 5.8 percent and 5.9 percent as a worldwide average this century. This percentage is expected to remain the same through 2019. Even though this means that 61 million more people will be unemployed, some 220 million more jobs will have been created.
#6. An estimated 30 million people suffer modern-day slavery conditions, generating some US$32 billion in profit yearly for those involved in human trafficking.
#7. There are more than 200 million children working around the world today, with 120 million engaged in hazardous work. Seventy-three million of these children are under 10 years old.
#8. International Workers' Day began in Chicago as a protest campaign in support of the eight-hour workday.
#9. The World Bank projects that the estimated total workforce in the world is around 3.4 billion, of which just over 2 billion are male, 1.4 billion are female and 560,000 are youth. By 2030, the World Bank projects that the total workforce is predicted to increase to slightly more than 4 billion, with 2.4 billion male, 1.6 billion female, while the youth workforce will have only grown by about 40,000, to just under 600,000.
#10. According to one rough estimate, the world average wage probably lies around US$1,200 purchasing power parity per month, although in many countries this is completely untrue as workers receive salaries below US$100.
International Workers' Day Message and Quotes:
1. Wishing you a Happy workers Day, Work is not man's punishment.
It is his reward and his strength and his pleasure
There is no definition of a good day or a bad day.
It all depends on you and your thoughts that Either You run the day.
|2. To Every Single people who searching for a Job or a Better Job to Survive, God will come through for you all this month of May. May Day and happy workers day!!|
|3. To all those who keep their country running, rising above the limiting environment, going beyond the call of duty just to ensure some degree of productivity and functionality, a big THANK YOU! You're our heroes. May your labour not be in vain.|
|Photo: Flying Calls|
|4. Your days of toiling without results are over! As you work, you will earn in multiples of your efforts... And you will be blessed with good health to enjoy the rewards of your labor. Happy Labour Day!!|
|5. It is God who ultimately rewards every hard work; so, work to please Him! Wish you Happy workers Day!|
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