Printed on Fri Aug 12 2022 7:05:41 AM

'May day' the epic International Labour day

International desk

Today is the great May Day.

May Day is known as the day for the realization of the rights of the working people of the world. On this day in the year 1886, the workers of Hay Market in Chicago, USA, sacrificed their lives to demand 8 hours of work. The rights of the working class were established through their self-sacrifice on that day.

This day of workers' sacrifice for the realization of the rights of working people is celebrated all over the world as 'May Day' every year. The theme of this May Day is 'Labor-Owner Unity, Assurance of Development'.

President on the occasion of the great May Day. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have given separate statements.

Wishing May Day to all working people of the world including Bangladesh, Abdul Hamid said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has fought for the rights of hard working people all his life. He was a true friend of working people. After independence, May Day received state recognition and Father of the Nation declared May Day a public holiday. He said Bangabandhu formed the wage commission to ensure fair rights of the workers and he also announced new pay structure for the workers.

In the message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the present Awami League government is implementing various activities to improve the living standards and welfare of the working people of the country. Bangladesh Labor (Amendment) Act, 2018 has been enacted by updating and modernizing the Bangladesh Labor Act to ensure safe working environment, social security and workers' welfare by maintaining goodwill and good relations between employers and workers. Salary allowance of workers in all sectors has been increased.

On the occasion of the great May Day, detailed programs have been taken by various labor organizations in compliance with the hygiene rules. The program includes labor rallies, processions, discussion meetings, seminars and cultural events.

National newspapers will publish special supplements to celebrate the great May Day. Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private TV channels will broadcast special programs and talk shows on the occasion of the day. That's how Labor Day came about

The American city of Chicago was then one of the centers of industrialization. Workers from the US, Germany and Europe began flocking to Chicago in search of work. For an average of one and a half dollars, they were working day and night like oxen. You have to work on it again 7 days a week. Workers became instruments to work much like robots.

Despite the hardships, they could not open their mouths against the owner. Because the workers were not organized then. Many at different times have been oppressed and tortured at the hands of the owner, demanding the establishment of 8 hours as proof of working hours. As a result, fear has been instilled in the minds of other workers as well.

At a meeting of the American Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions in October 1884, discussions began on establishing an eight-hour workday. A general strike was called on May 1, 1886, with the consent of various American labor unions. The demand is the same, no more than 8 hours of work daily.

The bosses arrested workers' union leaders to protest the strike. In addition, various workers are being tortured. The workers fought hard to get out of the 14-16 working hours imposed by the employer. The movement was going on till May 1-3 of 1886.

The police then attacked the workers of Chicago. Police opened fire on workers in front of the Chicago McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. Hundreds of workers were injured and two were killed. The workers also became agitated due to these casualties. The next day, thousands of workers gathered in Chicago's Haymarket Square in full readiness for the movement.

Earlier in the day, an unidentified man hurled a bomb at police. This was followed by heated exchanges and clashes between the police and the protesters. Seven policemen and four workers were killed in the clashes. Hundreds of unarmed workers who came to claim were killed. In the history of the world's labor struggle, it is written in blood under the name 'Haymarket Massacre'. However, who bombed the police that day is still undecided.


Some more information about May Day

On May 1, 1886 workers in Chicago, USA, gave their blood to demand an eight-hour workday. In that context, the celebration of International Workers' Day or May Day began.

On September 5, 1882, about 10,000 U.S. workers rallied in New York City to demand their rights.

Despite protests and casualties in the United States, the decision to observe Labor Day was made in the French capital, Paris, at the first International Socialist Congress held in 1889.

May Day is officially observed as International Workers' Day in 90 countries around the world.

Although International Labor Day originated in the context of the May 1 labor movement in Chicago, USA, Labor Day is celebrated in the United States on the first Monday in September.


Read More: May Day being celebrated today

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