International Workers Day or Labour Day or often referred to as May Day is an international day celebrated to honor our working-class Labour. It is observed on every May 1st to show the contribution and sacrifices of workers to society. In India, Labour Day is an official holiday and celebrated as Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas, Uzhaipalar Dinam (Tamil) or Kamgar Din.
The International Labuor Day is the perfect picture of how workers come together and showcase their strength, showing how effectively they can struggle to bring about positive reforms for the social working class.
Labor Day is observed on 1 May each year in many European countries and former colonies of European nations. However, other countries including the US observe Labor Day annually on the first Monday of September. In India, Labour Day is in the month of May with a dedication to the laborers and workers who were the force behind our nation’s industrial growth.
Last year Labour Day 2019 was celebrated with the theme is “Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement”.
History of Labour Day in India
India’s very first Labour Day celebration was held on May 1, 1923, in Madras (Chennai). The Hindustan Labour Kisan Party was founded on this day by Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar, one of the leaders of the Communist Party of India and a champion of workers’ rights. On that day, he called for two worker’s meetings to be held in Madras- one was held at Marina Beach opposite Madras High Court and the other was held in Triplicane.
On this day the red flag, which popularly represents the working class, was raised in India for the first time. The Victory of the Labour Statue (popularly called the Statue of Labour) stands tall on Chennai’s Marina Beach – a great reminder of the country’s first Labor Day celebration.
Basically, the Labour Day history dates back from May 1, 1886. On this US labor unions voted to go on a strike with an urge that employees should not be a force to work more than 8 hours a day. Following the strike a bomb was exploded on 4 May in Chicago’s Haymarket Square, killing numerous residents and police officers.
Though the protest in the US did not result in an immediate outcome, though it helped to create the 8-hour working standard in India and other parts of the world.
Labour Day celebrated in different countries
The Labour Day date in Australia varies between states and territories like the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and South Australia celebrates labor day on the first Monday in October. It’s the second Monday in March in Victoria and Tasmania (although the latter will title it Eight Hours Day). Labour Day in Western Australia is the first Monday of March in, the first Monday of May in Queensland and the Northern Territory (though the latter calls it May Day). Labour Day on Christmas Island is the fourth Monday of March in the territory.
The United States
US Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. It is a federal holiday in the US, and generally seen as the end of the summer holiday season.
Trinidad and Tobago
Labour Day is celebrated every 19 June in Trinidad and Tobago. It was introduced in 1973 for the anniversary of the Butler labour riots in 1937. This holiday was celebrated.
In Brazil Labour Day is celebrated on 1st of May.
In memory of the victims of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building, Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati, an organization working for the welfare of garment workers, demanded that 24 April be declared as Labor Safety Day in Bangladesh.
Labor Day is a public holiday in New Zealand that takes place on the fourth Monday in October. Its roots can be traced back to the eight-hour working day movement that originated in 1840 in the newly formed Wellington colony, primarily because of the reluctance of carpenter Samuel Parnell to work more than eight hours a day.
Labor Day (French: Fête du Travail) is celebrated in Canada since the 1880s on the first Monday of September.
Labor Day is a public holiday in the Bahamas which is observed on the first Friday of June to create a long weekend for workers. However, the traditional date of Labor Day in the Bahamas is 7 June, in commemoration of a massive workers’ strike that started that day in 1942.