Labour Day or May Day or Workers’ Day
Official Name is: International Workers’ Day
Also called May Day
International Labour Day is also known as International Worker’s Day and May Day which is celebrated on an international level to promote and encourage international labor associations. It is being celebrated all across the world every year on the 1st of May which has been declared as the traditional spring holiday in Europe.
It has also been declared as the national holiday in almost 80 countries of the world whereas it is being celebrated as an unofficial event in most of the countries. It the US and Canada, it is (Labour Day) celebrated on 1st Monday of the September month as an annual holiday for celebrating the great achievements of the workers working in various fields.
International Labour Day 2019
International Labour Day 2019 was celebrated by the people (socialists and labor unions) all over the world on Wednesday, the 1st of May.
International Labor Day theme 2019 was “Sustainable Pension for all: The Role of Social Partners”.
President, Prime Minister and other leaders of the political parties conveyed their wishes on the occasion and dedicated the day to the workers for the immense hard work they show in building new India.
Hind Mazdoor Sabha and Building & Woodworkers International organized a blood donation camp ahead of May Day where the workers donated around 45 units of blood. A free health checkup camp was also organized on the occasion where health checkups were conducted by the doctors and free medicine were also distributed to the workers and their families.
Various awareness campaign drives were organized on Labor Day across the nation to make the workforce aware of the latest laws and policies of the government so that they can utilize it for their betterment and live a decent life.
History and Origin of International Labour Day
International Workers’ Day is the big celebration on the world level and it is celebrated to commemorate the 4th of May of 1886, the Haymarket affair (Haymarket Massacre) in Chicago. It is the big event of that year when workers were on the general strike for their eight-hour workday and police were doing their job of dispersing the general public from the crowd. Suddenly, a bomb was thrown over the crowd by an unidentified person and then the police started firing over the workers and four demonstrators were killed.
Here is a real statement about the event: “Reliable witnesses testified that all the pistol flashes came from the center of the street, where the police were standing, and none from the crowd. Moreover, initial newspaper reports made no mention of firing by civilians. A telegraph pole at the scene was filled with bullet holes, all coming from the direction of the police.”
It was decided to be celebrated on annual basis as a May Day in the meeting (in 1889) of Paris through a proposal by the Raymond Lavigne that international demonstrations are required to celebrate the anniversary of Chicago protests. In the year 1891, May Day was officially recognized by the International’s second congress to be celebrated as an annual event.
However, May Day Riots occurred in the year 1894 and then in the year 1904, the following statement was given in the International Socialist Conference at Amsterdam “all Social Democratic Party organizations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on May First for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.” and declared it “mandatory upon the proletarian organizations of all countries to stop work on May 1, wherever it is possible without injury to the workers.”
Why is May Day Celebrated?
International Labour Day or May Day is celebrated to finish the struggle as well as to promote the requirement of the eight-hour workday. Earlier the working condition of the laborer was very severe and working hours were 10 to 16 hours a day even in unsafe conditions. Deaths, injuries and other dreadful conditions of the workers were very common at the workplace during the 1860s and working people were very agitated throughout the workday until the 8-hour workday was declared.
The rising death of the working class people (men, women, and children) in many working industries, required to raise the voice for the safety of the working group people by decreasing their working hours in the industries. After the lots of efforts made by the workers and socialists, eight-hours was declared as the legal time for the workers in the national convention at Chicago in 1884 by the American Federation of Labor.
Many people have sacrificed their lives during the Haymarket Massacre which was held in Chicago during the strike of workers. May Day is celebrated to commemorate the event of the Haymarket Massacre as well as to promote the social and economic achievements of the working group people.
How International Labour Day is Celebrated
International Labor Day is celebrated yearly as an official holiday all over the world to celebrate the accomplishments of workers. People enjoy celebrating May Day or Labour Day by arranging a big party and lots of programs. They decorate the banners and flags using colors just like an Independence Day celebration.
A variety of news and messages are distributed by the TV channels and radio channels saying Happy Labor Day among people to increase social awareness about Labour Day. A variety of other events is also organized by the International Labour Organization to celebrate the day. The theme of the Labour Day party celebration becomes any cartoon characters, western culture shows, sports, TV shows, movies, holiday activities, crazy fun activities and many more. Other Labor Day activities include a crossword puzzle, anagram puzzle, word search puzzle, code-cracker puzzle, word scramble puzzle, phrase matching game puzzle and etc.
This celebration has become a historic significance all over the world and celebrated by the Labor unions worldwide. A variety of demonstrations, speeches, protests processions, rallies, and parades are organized by the working group people under the security arrangements to protect violence.
International Labour Day Theme
International Labour Day themes are planned by the members of the International labor day. Some of the themes are mentioned below:
- The theme of International Labour Day of 2019 is “Sustainable Pension for all: The Role of Social Partners”.
- The theme of International Labour Day of 2018 was “Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement”.
- The theme of International Labour Day of 2017 was “Celebrating the international labor movement”.
- The theme of International Labour Day of 2016 was “Celebrating the international labor movement”.
- The theme of International Labour Day of 2015 was “Construct the Future of Cameroon in Peace, Solidarity and Decent Work”.
- The theme of International Labour Day of 2013 was “Let’s value work by providing the jobless with start-up capital support“.
- The theme of International Labour Day of 2012 was “Promote Employment by Supporting Prospective Entrepreneurs”.
International Labour Day Quotes
- “The tendency of taxation is to create a class of persons who do not labor, to take from those who do labor the produce of that labor, and to give it to those who do not labor.” William Cobbett
- “Manual labor to my father was not only good and decent for its own sake but, as he was given to saying, it straightened out one’s thoughts.” Mary Ellen Chase
- “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level–I mean the wages of decent living.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Workingmen are at the foundation of society. Show me that the product of human endeavor in the making of which the workingman has had no share, and I will show you something that society can well dispense with.” Samuel Gompers
- “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” Martin Luther King Jr
- “Poorly paid labor is inefficient labor, the world over.” Henry George
- “Labor wants also pride and joy in doing good work, a sense of making or doing something beautiful or useful – to be treated with dignity and respect as brother and sister.” Thorstein Veblen
- “Before the reward, there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy.” Ralph Ransom
- “Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.” Bob Black
- “Labor is the only prayer that Nature answers.” Robert Green Ingersoll
- “If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.” Doug Larson
- “Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.” Bill Dodds
- “International solidarity is not an act of charity: It is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objective. The foremost of these objectives is to aid the development of humanity to the highest level possible.” Samora Machel
- “Without labor, nothing prospers.” Sophocles
- “If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.” Abraham Lincoln
- “Nonbureaucratic, participative, solidarity-driven, noncommercial, arty. With all those manifest virtues, you have to wonder why a setup like this can’t seem to last any longer than a Labor Day weekend.” Bruce Sterling
- “Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.” Ulysses S. Grant
- “When people ask me, ‘Why can’t labor organize the way it did in the thirties?’ the answer is simple: everything we did then is now illegal.” Thomas Geoghegan
- “Labor was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labor, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.” Adam Smith
- “Labor Day differs in every essential from other holidays of the year in any country. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflict and battles of man’s prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race or nation.” Samual Gompers
- “It is labor indeed that puts the difference on everything.” John Locke
- “Labor is prior to and independent of, the capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” Abraham Lincoln
- “What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and fewer jails; more books and fewer arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures.” Samuel Gompers
International Labour organization
International Labour Organization (ILO) is an agency located in the United Nations, established to deal with labor issues on an international level. It has around 185 members of the total (193) UN member states. It was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in the year 1969 for promoting peace among classes, deal with workers issues, providing them technical assistance in order to develop nations.
It deals with all the complaints violating the international rules for labor class people. It has a tripartite governing structure that means “representing governments, employers and workers (usually with a ratio of 2:1:1)” in order to create a free and open debate between the social partners and governmental body. International Labour Organization secretariat works as an International Labour Office.
Its Governing Body has the right to plan or make a decision about International Labour Conferences, adopting or organizing programs, electing the director-general, dealing with the member states about the labor matters, appointing commissions of inquiry as well as supervising International Labour Office actions. It has around 28 government representatives, 14 employer representatives, and 14 worker representatives.
It organizes an International Labour Conference (parliament of labor, having 4 representatives, 2 government, 1 employer and 1 worker delegate) on annual basis in Geneva in the month of June to make general policies, planning programs and deciding the budget.