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Labor Day / May Day

labor day

1st May 2020 on Friday is the date of Labor Day or May Day for the current year 2020.
It is also called as Worker’s Day or Labour Day.

Difference between “labour Day” and “Labor Day”

There is no difference between “Labour Day” and Labor Day”, in British English Labour is preferred spelling, and Labor is preferred in American English.

History of May Day / Labor Day

  • In October 1884, The Federation of Organised Traders and labor unions of America unitedly fixed May 1, 1886, as the date by which Eight Hour Work Day would become a standard.
  • As the chosen date May 1, 1886, approached Labour Unions of U.S. called for a strike in support of the Eight Hour Day.
  • On Saturday, May 1, 1886, thousands of workers went on strike and throughout United States rallies of workers were crying “Eight Hour Day with no cut in pay”.
  • In Chicago, which was the hub of industries in the United States and the center of the movement, an estimated 30 to 40 thousand workers had gone on strike.
  • On May 3, 1886, striking workers in Chicago had a conflict with the strike-breakers.
  • Due to this conflict, the police fired upon them and two workers were killed.
  • This barbarism of police agitated the workers and the local anarchists called for a rally on the following day at Hay market Square.
  • On May 4, 1886 evening the rally started with a quite peaceful crowd.
  • A few minutes after 10’ o clock a storm began to blow up in Chicago and people began to leave the crowd due to these bad weather conditions and only about 3000 people were left in the rally.
  • The worker’s leaders Spies and Parson addressed the crowd respectively.
  • There was so calm that the mayor of the city Carton Harrison walked home and went to sleep.
  • At about 10:30 pm the worker’s leader Fieldon was finishing his speech that the police inspector Jhon Bonfield ordered the rally to disperse.
  • Meanwhile, a home-made dynamite bomb was thrown to the police, by which a policeman Mathias J. Dergan was killed and six others were wounded.
  • An exchange of gunshots started between police and demonstrators.
  • In all 7 policemen and 4 workers were killed and 70 to 100 were wounded from both sides.
  • Hence the Hay market tragedy became a part of history.
  • Eight anarchists were arrested.
  • On November 11, 1887, four of these arrested leaders named Parsons, Spies, Engel, and Fisher were hung to death.
  • In 1889 an international federation of socialist groups and trade unions nominated May 1 as a day in commemoration of martyrs of Hay market Riot in Chicago.
  • In 1894 United States President Grover Cleveland declared May 1st as an official holiday in honor of workers.
  • Canada followed long afterward.

Facts and Activities of Labor Day

On this day the accomplishments of workers are celebrated and problems and demands of workers are discussed at proper forums.
Workers conduct rallies, processions, and meetings for their rights. They play a tribute to the martyrs of Chicago, who laid down their lives for the Eight Hour Day Movement.
On 1st May there is an official holiday in more than 80 countries of the world, some countries vary the actual date and holiday occurs on the 1st Monday of May.

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