International Workers Day: History, Theme, and Significance

International Workers Day: History, Theme, and Significance

International Workers Day, also known as Workers Day in most countries and also known as May Day, is a celebration of laborers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labor movement every year on 1 May.

It is rightly said that “All Labour that benefits humanity has dignity.”

                                                                                                    ~ Martin Luther King Jr

The goal of this day is to spread awareness about workers’ rights and also to recognize their achievements.  Workers Day/Labor Day or May Day has a variety of origin stories in different countries around the world. It is a day devoted to the accomplishments and contributions of workers. Moreover, it spread awareness about the rights and opportunities that every worker has that they should be given for their own welfare and betterment.

The theme of International Workers Day 2022

Workers Day gives the Labours the right to only work for 8 hours a day. As a result, laborers are relieved from the stress and pressure of multiple activities performed in a single day. Workers Day usually has a theme every year, but no theme has been assigned for 2022. We will have to continue with the 2021 theme of “maintaining safety and security at the workplace”.

Quick facts about International Labour Day

1) Even though International Workers Day has its origins in the commemoration of the Haymarket affair in Chicago, Workers Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September in Canada and the USA, not May 1.

2) The May Day holiday is celebrated in more than 80 countries.

3) The Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan celebrated the first May Day in India in Chennai (then Madras) in 1923.

4) On May 1, Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day are also celebrated.

Read More: Important Days and Dates in May 2022

Origin and History of International Labour Day

Workers Day originated in the United States of America in the 19th century. Workers Day is marked on May 1 in honor of the nationwide strike for an eight-hour day in 1886, which began on May 1 and ended as the Haymarket affair in Chicago US. Haymarket refers to the tragic incident where a labor protest rally turned violent after someone threw a bomb in the direction of the police, resulting in the death of seven police officers and at least four civilians.

It is important to keep in mind that May Day or Workers Day is observed on a different dates in different countries. For example, in the United States, Workers Day is observed in September.

For the first time in India, the celebration of Workers Day was taken on the initiative of the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan, in which Comrade Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar, founder of the first trade union, arranged two meetings to mark the event. It was decided to hold one meeting at Triplicane Beach and another at the beach opposite the Madras High Court. According to the motion passed by the House of Representatives, the government should announce a national holiday on 1st May and mark it as Workers Day. This was the first time a red flag was used in India.

OV Digital Desk