International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day, is celebrated on May 1 every year to honour the working class across the world.
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate the 2023 International Workers‘ Day, here are seven facts to know about the day set aside to recognise workers’ contributions and sacrifices to nation-building.
- It is celebrated as a national public holiday in many countries. The history of Labour Day goes back to 1886 when a Labour Union in the United States decided to go on strike with the sole demand that workers should not be allowed to work over eight hours a day.
- The origins of Labour Day can be traced back to the late 19th century when workers across the globe began demanding better working conditions, fair wages, and shorter working hours.
- International Labour Day is celebrated in more than 80 countries, including India, Cuba, and China. People in different parts of the world hold marches on this day to promote the rights of working-class people and to protect them from exploitation.
- The tradition of Labour Day dates back to 19th century America. On May 1st, 1886 workers in Chicago organized a strike to demand an eight-hour workday. However, workers across the US came together to demand their rights and to fight for better working conditions after a bomb exploded at a labour rally in Haymarket Square.
5 In 1889, the International congress of socialist parties met in Paris and decided to celebrate Labour Day or Worker’s Day on May 1.
- The first labour day was celebrated in India on May 1, 1923, in Chennai. The first May Day celebrations were organized by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan. The leader of the party, Comrade Singaravelar arranged two meetings to celebrate this occasion.
- Labour Day is celebrated around the world to raise awareness of the rights of working people and to protect them from exploitation. It also serves as a reminder of the important role played by the working class in our society.