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International Workers’ Day 2023 – History, Significance, Importance, and Achievements

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May 1 is International Workers’ Day or International Labour Day dedicated to workers and labourers across the world. This day honours workers and urges them to know their rights.

The day’s beginnings can be traced back to the labour union movement, notably the eight-hour day movement. The day, popularly known as May Day, is observed in countries such as India, Cuba, and China, among others.

International Workers’ Day, also known as Labor Day in most countries and commonly referred to as May Day, is celebrated on May 1. As a result, the day is devoted to workers and labourers all around the world.

Workers Day, on the other hand, honours workers and urges them to be conscious of their rights. As a result, it is marked on May 1 every year to commemorate the achievements of workers and to raise awareness about exploitation. As the day approaches, here are some details to help you grasp the significance of this unique day. 

What is the Definition of a Worker?

Section-2(zzl) of the Occupational Safety, Health, and Working Conditions Code (OSHWC Code), 2020 defines a worker as:

“Any person employed in any establishment to do any manual, unskilled, skilled, technical, operational, clerical, or supervisory work for hire or reward, whether the terms of employment be express or implied, and includes working journalists as well as sales promotion employees.”

The History of International Workers’ Day

International Workers’ Day
Graphics Credit: Editorialge.com

In May 1886, 400,000 employees across the United States went on strike, seeking an eight-hour workday. The strike began peacefully, but there was some violence on the third day of protests in Chicago. Police opened fire on defenceless employees, killing several of them. There were further protests the next day, and someone tossed a bomb. The explosion of police firing immediately after the bomb killed seven police officers and four labourers. Although the perpetrator of the bomb was never identified, eight workers were arrested. Seven of them were put to death, while one was sentenced to 15 years in prison. 

This event, known as The Haymarket Affair, was crucial in uniting working people in the United States. Many people did not believe the guys were guilty, and the trial was seen as unfair. The Haymarket Affair became a symbol of the international struggle for workers’ rights, and May 1 was designated as International Workers’ Day. On this day, socialist parties and trade unions urged workers to demonstrate in support of the eight-hour workday and peaceful protest. In the United States, the eight-hour workday became law for public employees in 1892. Workers’ movements around the world have continued to struggle for and win this right since then. 

Read More: International Women’s Day 2023

Significance

International Workers Day 2023

May Day celebrates the contribution and sacrifice of workers to and for society. May Day is synonymous with workers’ struggles and subsequent empowerment in the late 19th century. 

The day’s importance dates back to the times when workers in the United States started protesting against draconian labour laws, workers’ rights violations, poor working conditions, and dreadful work hours.

How is International Labour Day Celebrated?

International Labour Day, also known as May Day or Labour Day, is observed as a national holiday in many nations throughout the world to commemorate workers’ achievements. On this day, there are numerous programs and celebrations planned. Labourers of various colours also decorated various banners and flags. To raise social consciousness among people, TV, and radio stations broadcast a variety of news and greetings wishing them a Happy Labor Day. 

The Traditional May Day is an Ancient European Export

If you associate May Day with flower baskets, maypole dancing, or simply the start of summer, those May Day celebrations recall the holiday’s much earlier origins. Prior to its adoption as a day to celebrate workers, May Day had pagan roots.

According to Linebaugh, the springtime custom was transmitted from pagan tribes in Ireland and Scandinavia, who borrowed old Roman practices commemorating the Earth’s flowering season. He claims that when the first Europeans arrived in North America and erected a maypole in Quincy, Massachusetts, they drank excessive amounts of beer and danced with the indigenous people.

“The Puritans of Boston put an end to it by military force,” Linebaugh explained. “Yet, this tradition of May Day as a time of dancing, play, and pleasure has survived into many parts of the United States today.”

At the end of the day, no matter how you celebrate May Day, it is a moment to come together. History demonstrates that May Day’s comradery is invariably greeted with repression.

Read Also: International Mother Language Day

Importance of International Workers’ Day

Importance of International Workers Day

  • Workers or labourers put in long hours at the workplace. They provide fantastic suggestions for increasing job efficiency and future developments. The day provides an opportunity for their management and society to listen to and value their unique ideas. 
  • They are not simply stamped with a labour tag, but become a part of management through involvement. 
  • It is a day to appreciate the talents of labourers or workers who gain expertise on a real working platform over time. They do not need more formal schooling, but they must codify their professional experiences. 
  • Every year on May 1, International Workers’ Day or World Labor Day is observed to encourage labourers. The day also serves as a reminder that it is important to treat people properly throughout the year in order to optimize aims and enhance habits. 

International Workers’ Day Wishes 

  • Today is the day to honour those souls striving hard in life to make it worthwhile. Happy Labor Day!
  • The country will not be able to shine without workers like you. Wishing you a wonderful Labor Day.
  • Happy May Day to you all. I take this opportunity to thank you all who work for our nation.
  • Sending our appreciation and respect to the workers in every field. Happy International Labour Day!
  • All the hardworking labourers and people who work for the betterment of our society do not deserve recognition for just one day. They should be celebrated every day. Happy International Workers’ Day 2023.
  • Happy International May Day 2023. All my best wishes and luck to you, may you keep working hard and achieve all that you want in life.
  • A very Happy International Workers’ Day 2023 to the ones who have survived this year with great willpower and hard work. May you keep doing well in life and achieve all that you wish.

Conclusion 

The Haymarket Affair in 1886 was a symbol of the international struggle for workers’ rights, and May 1 was designated as International Workers’ Day to encourage workers to demonstrate in support of the eight-hour workday. The eight-hour workday became law for public employees in 1892, and workers’ movements around the world have continued to struggle for it since then.

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