Labour Day: History, Importance and Significance

Celebrated to honour the contribution of the labourers in the development process, 1st May is known to be Labour Day or May Day. Here is all that you need to know about this day.
By: Kanishka Updated: May 01, 2020 11:13 IST
Labour Day: History, Importance and Significance
Labour Day: History, Importance and Significance

International Labour Day, also known as Worker's Day or May Day is observed every year on May 1. It is indeed one of its kind of events that is celebrated to appreciate the efforts of the labour class across the world, whose efforts often go unnoticed otherwise. Governments of many countries like India, China, Cuba have long declared Labour Day as a public holiday. Offices, workplaces and factories often remain close on this day and special cultural programmes are held by various organisations to pay tribute to the contributions of the workers in their development.

History of International Labour Day

  • The origin story of May Day is quite different for various nations but the theme for all remains the same.
  • The idea behind observing the day is recognising labourers' efforts taking a stand for their rights against exploitation.
  • During the process of industrialisation, labourers from colonial nationals were forced to work under inhumane conditions and they weren't paid appropriately either.
  • The history of Labour Day is closely associated with the labour movement in the USA.
  • It was in the year 1886 that on May 1 labourers from Haymarket, Chicago came together and revolted against this unjust system and demanded paid leaves, good wage, proper breaks and eight-hour workdays.

Significance of Labour Day

Often the work done by the labour class goes unnoticed by top rank officials and their white- collar colleagues. Well, it's on May Day that people come together to pay respect and recognise the tireless efforts of the working class. Labour Day is also signified as a day when the oppressed class of the society stood together to demand their rights from their employers.

Origin of Labours Day in India

As of India, the first Labour Day was celebrated in the year 1923 in Chennai by Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan. It was on this day that the Red Flag became a symbol for the day in India. Many labour movements from Communist and Socialist parties have taken place since then.

How Indians Celebrate May Day Labour Day

May Day has been declared as a public holiday in the country. In Maharashtra and Gujarat this day is also known as Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day respectively, as it was on this day in the year 1960 that these two received statehood.

In many organisations, cultural programs and other sorts of entertainment programmes are held to recognise the efforts of the workers, while in other organisations, it is a paid leave for their workers.

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