May 1 is International Workers’ Day, and that’s a big deal. Today workers have rights, and that wasn’t always the case. Work might not be as fun, but it’s at least fair! Read more about it!
May 1 is International Workers Day or Labor Day. This might sound like socialist propaganda, and it once was, but today we celebrate the fact that workers today have rights, fair wages and days off. This wasn’t always the case.
Work and slavery had many things in common just a century ago. Child labor, excessively long shifts, no rest and poor wages were the norm for most of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Workers didn’t have rights, and it took an authentic revolution to change things.
May 1 commemorate the 1886 Haymarket massacre in Chicago, where workers took the streets to demand an eight-hour shift. These demonstrations, which often ended in casualties, were replicated worldwide, making the fight for workers’ rights a global phenomenon.
The Soviet bloc, in which workers were highly praised but paid poorly, celebrated International workers’ day with military parades and vast displays of power.
In the east and the west, in the first world and developing countries, this is the day for workers to unite and demand adequate working conditions. Easier said than done, the international worker’s day still has a reason to exist. There’s still work inequality and lots of abuse. There are still inadequate working conditions and low minimum wages everywhere.
This is a day to be thankful for the work we have and remind ourselves that the worker’s rights we enjoy weren’t free. An authentic revolution was necessary to guarantee people a decent livelihood.
History of International Workers’ Day
May 1 is International Workers’ Day, and it’s one of the most significant dates in the calendar — It shaped the world as we know it.
With the Industrial revolution of the 19th century came the factories. With factories came a type of work never seen before — long hours of arduous, often dangerous work where children, women and men played a part in a big machinery that only cared about the production. Workers effectively became replaceable parts of a large industry. The quality of life had never been worse.
On May 1 of 1886, 300,000 workers around the country walked out of their jobs to demand fair wages, eight-hour shifts, and safe working conditions. This was one of the largest worker demonstrations, and it soon became an all-out strike that lasted days. Today, 66 countries around the world recognize May 1 as Labor Day.
How to Celebrate International Workers’ Day
Don’t walk out of your job but be part of the change. Demand better conditions in your work environment and support associations fighting for equal labor rights.
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