Saturday, June 15, 2024

International Labour Day – Why we celebrate, History, Facts, Quotes & More

Every May 1st, we celebrate International Labour Day, also known as May Day, to promote working-class rights and shield them from exploitation.


Every May 1st, we celebrate International Labour Day, a time to remember workers’ and labourers’ sacrifices and battles. It is also known as May Day.

The origins of Labour Day date back to the late 1800s when labourers worldwide started calling for fair pay, fewer hours per week, and better working conditions.

Over 80 countries celebrate International Labor Day, including China, Cuba, and India. On this day, people march throughout the world to raise awareness of working-class rights and to shield them from exploitation.

History behind International Labour Day

The tradition of Labour Day dates back to 19th century America. Chicago labourers called a strike on May 1st, 1886, protesting for the eight-hour workday. Nonetheless, following a bombing at a labour gathering in Haymarket Square, workers across the United States unified to fight for improved working conditions and to demand their rights.

The International Congress of Socialist Parties met in Paris in 1889 to resolve and mark May 1 as Worker’s Day, or Labour Day. 

Significance of Labour Day

Around the world, people celebrate Labour Day to honour workers’ rights and to keep them safe from exploitation. It is also a reminder of the working class’s significant contribution to society.

Social disparity among workers in numerous industries and nations still exists in today’s world. These workers see May Day as an opportunity to speak out and urge politicians and policymakers to move the country towards social justice. 

International Labour Day in India

International Labour Day

May 1, 1923, was celebrated as the first Labour Day in India, in Chennai. The Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan arranged the first May Day celebrations. Comrade Singaravelar, the party’s leader, organised two gatherings to mark this milestone.

In many Indian states, Labour Day is celebrated by several names, the most well-known of which being May Day. The names for Labour Day vary depending on the language used, such as Kamgar Din in Hindi, Karmikara Dinacharane in Kannada, Karmika Dinotsavam in Telugu, Kamgar Divas in Marathi, Uzhaipalar Dhinam in Tamil, Thozhilaali Dinam in Malayalam, and Shromik Dibosh in Bengali.

Famous Labour Day Quotes

  • “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
  • “All labour that uplights humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Dr Martin Luther King Jr
  • “Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, and your spirit. Then get back to work.” – Ralph Marston
  • “The dignity of labour depends not on what you do, but how you do it.” – Edwin Osgood
  • “No human masterpiece has been created without great labour.” – Andre Gide
  • “Labour Day is a time to recognise the contributions of workers, to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” – Tom Perez 
The Indian Bugle
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