The idea of Labor day was borrowed from the 40 hour week or 8 hour week movement which originated by James Owen from the Industrial revolution in Britain. The 8 hour week was a transition from production done with hands to use of machines which gave rise to working hours and child labor.
Robert Owen was the pioneer in the birth of the term and the philosophy of 8 hour week movement. In the year 1817 he demanded good working conditions, and quality of life through his unique slogan, “Eight hours labor”, “Eight hours recreation”, “Eight hours rest “.
Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions in USA proposed “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after 1st May, 1886”. On 1st May, 1886, numerous labor unions across America went on strike demanding a fixed 8 hour work day. On the 4th of May a bomb blast in Haymarket, Chicago led to massive bloodshed with over 100 lives lost. In the year 1991, that very same day was declared as a holiday by the Socialist Organisation to mark the incident of May 4th.
In India, the very first celebration of May Day was in the year 1923 in Chennai.
The International May day is a tribute to those who fought for something so essential to our life today.
Labor day is also known as International Day among many countries.
The actual date of the celebration varies hence the Monday closest to 1 May is considered Labor Day!
So this year, let’s be different from the “normal” May days, in memory of those who paid the price for the fruits we enjoy today. Happy May Day!