International Labour Day 2023 Today
New Delhi (News on time)| International Labour Day is celebrated every year on May 1 across the world to honour the achievements of labourers and workers and to encourage them to be aware of their rights. Popularly known as ‘May Day’, it has its origins in the labour union movement in the United States in the 19th Century – specifically the eight-hour day movement.
May 1st, 1890 was the first May Day celebration that was devoted to workers after the first international socialist congress in Europe declared on July 14th, 1889 in Paris, France, that May 1 should be celebrated as “Workers Day of International Unity and Solidarity” every year.
The date was chosen due to events on the other side of the Atlantic. It was in 1884 that the American Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions demanded an eight-hour workday, which would take effect from May 1st, 1886. This led to the general strike and the Haymarket (in Chicago) Riot of 1886, as well as the official sanction of the eight-hour workday.
Three years later, a French socialist party created an international day to honour the labour movement and marked May 1 in commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre.
Madras (now Chennai) was the site of the first Indian May Day celebration in 1923, which was organised by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan. The red flag was also used for the first time in India at that time. The day is tied to labour movements for communist and socialist political parties.
As a commemoration of the date in 1960 when the erstwhile Bombay State was divided on linguistic grounds, May 1 is also celebrated as ‘Maharashtra Day’ and ‘Gujarat Day’.