May Day: Know why the May 1st day celebrates as labour day?

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New Delhi: Labour Day, also known as International Workers Day, is observed globally on May 1 to promote the rights of workers and celebrate their achievements. The day was chosen by a pan-national organization of socialist and communist political parties to commemorate the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886.

This day is celebrated on May 1st, in almost 80 countries including India. In India, the day is celebrated as “Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas” and was introduced by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan and was first celebrated in Madras (now Chennai) on May 1, 1923.

The International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialised agency of the UN, brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. The unique tripartite structure of the organization gives an equal voice to workers, employers and governments to ensure that the views of the social partners are closely reflected in labour standards and in shaping policies and programmes.

The International Labour Organization has developed a system of international labour standards aimed at promoting opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity.

The eight-hour day was the first topic discussed by the ILO which resulted in the Hours of Work (Industry) Convention, 1919 ratified by 52 countries as of 2016. The eight-hour day movement forms part of the early history for the celebration of Labour Day and May Day in many nations and cultures.