May Day – International Worker’s Day
The first day of the month of May is May Day. International Workers’ Day is a celebration of the social and economic achievements of the international labor movement. It is International ‘Worker’s Day which commemorates the historic struggle of working people throughout the world. The day is observed to commemorate the historic struggle of working people. Several countries celebrate the day with parades, shows, and other patriotic and labor-oriented events.
The day has a historical background. At present, the workers enjoy some privileges such as minimum wages, safety laws, and eight hours of the workday. International Workers’ Day is the commemoration of the Haymarket Riot in Chicago in 1886. On May 1, 1886, police fired into the crowd of strikers at the McCormick Harvest Machine Company, Chicago. On May 1st, 1886, workers in Canada and the United States held peaceful strikes and rallies to demand an eight-hour workday. From the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, people worked very long shifts in factories. They had to work up to fourteen or even more hours a day. Two days later, Chicago police killed several demonstrators in a clash between workers and scabs in that city. At least one was killed and 5 or 6 were deadly wounded at that incident. On May 3, 1886, police fired on a crowd of strikers of the McComic Harvest Machine Company, Chicago. A rally was held in Haymarket Square to protest the killings, and when police tried to forcibly disperse the crowd a bomb was thrown. Seven police were killed; dozens in the crowd were injured. In memory of this struggle and the struggle of all workers for better conditions, May 1st was declared a holiday in 1889, by the International Workers’ Congress in Paris for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace. Due to its status as a celebration of the efforts of workers, May Day is an important official holiday in most of the countries. Most countries celebrate International Workers’ Day on May 1st, except in the United States and Canada, where Labor Day is held in September.
The struggle to have eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation and eight hours for rest was the origin of International Workers’ Day, which is also referred to as May Day or Labor Day. If the workers did not stand up and demand their rights, they would continue to be exploited. All the privileges workers enjoy tody such as a minimum wage, safety laws and eight hours working day comes about to the sacrifice of the workers in 1886. So the events of May Day 1886 are a reminder that workers will have to be exploited until they stand up and speak out to gain better working conditions, better pay, and better lives. So, the day is of much importance for working people all around the world.