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International Workers’ Day 2024 – May 01

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International workers' dayInternational Workers’ Day (also known as International Labour Day) is annually observed across the globe on 1 May to promote worker’s rights and honour the contribution of workers in every industry and field to society.

  • The Day aims to pay tribute to the struggle of workers for their rights and decent working conditions.

Note: In India, International Workers’ Day is also known as May Day, Antar Rashtriya Shramik Divas, or Kamgar Din.

History of May Day:

i.The origins of May Day can be traced back to the 1886 Haymarket Massacre(aka Haymarket Riot) violent confrontation between police and labor protesters in Chicago, Illinois, the United States of America (USA) on 4th May 1886.

ii.The riot occured during a peaceful labor demonstration in support of an eight-hour workday.

iii.In 1889, The Second International, an organisation of socialist and labour parties, announced that May 1 would be marked as International Workers’ Day.

  • The day is observed in memory of Haymarket martyrs and the injustice of the Haymarket Affair.

Labour Day in India:

i.In India, the 1st May Day was celebrated by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan on 1 May 1923 in Madras (now Chennai, Tamil Nadu).

ii.The Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan was led by Comrade Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar, who arranged 2 significant meetings to honour this occasion.

8-hour Day Movement:

i.The 8-hour day movement is a social movement that aims to regulate the length of a working day to prevent the abuse of working time.

ii.The International Labour Organization (ILO) convened at Washington, USA over a century ago, placing the 8-hour workday at the forefront of its agenda.

iii.This pivotal meeting led to the Hours of Work (Industry) Convention of 1919, establishing limits on daily and weekly working hours.

  • The convention sets the standard for working hours at a maximum of 8 hours per day and 48 hours per week. The convention came into effect on June 13, 1921.

Note: A labour movement is a movement campaigning to improve the rights and conditions of working people.