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International Labour Day 2020: Date and Why Is It Celebrated

(Illustration by Mir Suhail)

(Illustration by Mir Suhail)

A major incident that took place in Chicago on May 1, 1886, helped in establishing the existing Labour Day.

International Labour Day 2020 | May 1 is observed as International labour day or May Day worldwide. The day is celebrated annually to acknowledge the labourers and working class. The day which is declared a national holiday in numerous countries is also called Antarrashtriya Sharmik Diwas or Kamgar Din in India.

[q]Why is Labour Day celebrated?

[/q]

[ans]Back in the 19th century, during the peak of the industrialisation period, labour class was hugely exploited by the United States of America.

The working class was made to work over 15 hours in terrible conditions on a daily basis and the number of deaths saw a grave rise. This made the industrial workforce find their voice and demand for their safety for which several protest rallies took place.

A major incident that took place in Chicago on May 1, 1886, helped in establishing the existing Labour Day. A peaceful strike by a labour union was carried out demanding working hours from fifteen to eight, proper wages and paid leaves, among others.

However, the strike was met with bombings which led to many deaths. However, by the late 19th century, a legal working time of eight-hours was declared in Chicago’s national convention by the American Federation of Labor.

Following this pronouncement, many countries adopted the eight-hour working policy, including India.

Since then labour unions and socialists come together to celebrate this day across the world annually. Programs are conducted with an objective to improve working conditions wages and wages of the labour force.[/ans]

first published:May 01, 2020, 09:07 IST