Labor Day as the name suggests, is a day to commemorate the working classes. The date for celebrating the International Labor Day is 1st May. It was advocated by the International Labor Movement, communists, anarchists and socialists. The main purpose of dedicating a day to the workers was to pay a tribute to the Haymarket affair.
The Mishaps Of The Haymarket Affair:-
1880 was the time in the United States when the conditions of the industrial workers were extremely bleak and they had to withstand very low wages, resulting in frequent strikes and hunger strikes by the laborers.
The Haymarket uproar was viewed as the disappointment for the organised labor movement based in America, which was fighting for the basic labor rights like eight-hour work a day.
On 4th May 1886 a rally showcasing labor protest near Chicago’s Haymarket square turned into a massive uproar after a bomb was thrown at the police.
The policemen were supposedly dispersing the crowd, and in an attempt to defend themselves, a labor who was never identified, threw a bomb at them.
Eight people were dead in the riots of the Haymarket affair. Eight laborers were put behind the bars with the accusation of having connection with the riots, that too without any evidence. Later, the convicted labors were seen as martyrs.
What Is The International Labor Day?:-
The International Labor Day is also known as the May Day. It is generally celebrated to encourage and promote the International Workers association. It is commemorated in the world wide on the 1st of May.In some countries like Canada, it is celebrated on the 1st Monday of every September. In many countries, it is considered as a significant official holiday.
The motive of this movement was to generate eight hours of work, eight hours of other interests and the last eight hour of respite.
One of the many reasons for celebrating the International Labor Day or the May Day was to put an end to the struggle of the laborers for getting a fair eight hour job per day.
Whereas in the early times, before the protests of the laborers came into existence, the per day working hours used to be ten to sixteen hours a day irrespective of the work conditions, atmosphere and even the health issues of the laborers.
Be it injuries or deaths, disasters at work sites were very common, which resulted in leaving the workers bickering and agitated therefore.
Working class that included both men and women and in some sites, children as well, could not accept the escalation of deaths. They raised their voices against it.
It was then that the idea of eight-hour work day was brought into the attention of authorities.
In 1884, the eight-hour work day was made legal by the American Federation of Labor and the conditions at the worksites began to change for better.
The Commemoration Of The International Labor Day:-
- The time, when the term Labor Day was coined, was more of a struggle than a celebration. People that time celebrated Labor Day, participating in rallies, speeches etc. to showcase their concern for the working class.
- But, today’s time is just the opposite. Today, 90% of the workers are aware of their rights at the workplaces. But then there are work places where the workers are still being exploited and taken advantage of.
- Today, Labor Day means a holiday. A day for the office goers to take respite by staying at home, spending time with their loved ones etc.
- While some people stay at home, some choose to pay a tribute to the workers by arranging a small parade, educating children about the importance of work and the importance of respecting workers.
How Can We Celebrate The International Labor Day In Today’s Time?
There are a lot of ways to celebrate Labor Day :
- Face painting.
- Labor Day slogan writing.
- Arranging a parade by children.
- Decorative activities.
- Educating children about Labor Day.
Among these activities, the best and the most advantageous activity would be educating the children about the importance of Labor Day. If the children are taught to value work and workers, there can be nothing more useful. After all they are the ones who are going to become workers one day and later hire other people to work.