International Labour Day 2023: Date, History, Significance, Facts & More

International Labour Day 2023: It is also known as International Worker's Day, International Labour Day, and May Day. It is observed on 1st May every year in several countries across the world to pay tribute to the contribution of workers. Let us read in detail about Labour Day and how is it celebrated.

Shikha Goyal
May 1, 2023, 07:30 IST
International Labour Day
International Labour Day

International Labour Day 2023: It is observed globally on May 1 every year. The day spreads awareness about workers' rights and also recognises their accomplishments.  Labour Day or May Day has different origin stories in different countries. But the common thing is that the day focuses on the achievements and contributions of workers. It spread awareness about the rights and opportunities of every Labour which they should get for their welfare and betterment.

As we know that labour is the part of society on which all economic advancement rests. Even in the mechanical era of the present time, the importance of labour is not decreased. For example, in industry, trade, agriculture, construction of buildings, bridges and roads etc. contribution of labour plays a crucial role. So, we can say that labour is the aggregation of all human physical and mental effort used in the creation of goods and services. It is the primary factor for production. 

Labour Day provides the Labours with the right to work for only 8 hours a day. This gives labour relief from the stress and pressure from lots of activities performed in a single day. Various Themes are provided by the Government to the people to focus on their Rights to be achieved in a better way. However, there is no official announcement for this year's theme yet.

International Labour Day: History

On 1 May, 1886 labour unions went on a strike in the United States of America and demanded that workers should not be forced to work more than eight hours a day.

On 4 May during the strike the bomb blasts in Chicago's Haymarket took place. Due to this several people and police officers died and more than 100 people were injured. However, the strike did not have any immediate effect on labourers' work but it helped in establishing the eight-hour workday rule in several countries of the world.

The real statement about the event: “Reliable witnesses testified that all the pistol flashes came from the centre of the street, where the police were standing, and none from the crowd. Moreover, initial newspaper reports made no mention of firing by civilians. A telegraph pole at the scene was filled with bullet holes, all coming from the direction of the police.”

In 1889 a meeting took place in Paris where it was decided to celebrate May Day on an annual basis through a proposal given by Raymond Lavigne and said that international demonstrations are required to celebrate the anniversary of the Chicago protests. In 1891, the International's second congress officially recognized celebrating May Day as an annual event.

READ| Why is National Civil Service Day celebrated on 21 April?

In different countries, May Day or Labour Day is observed on different dates. Like in the United States, Labour Day is observed in September. 

In India, celebrating Labour Day was the first initiative taken by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan wherein the Comrade Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar, founder of the first trade union, arranged two meetings to celebrate the day. One meeting was held at Triplicane Beach and another at the beach opposite the Madras High Court. Singaravelar passed a resolution that the government should announce a national holiday on 1st May and marked it as a Labour Day. For the first time, a red flag was used in India.

How is International Labour Day celebrated?

There is an official holiday in various countries in the world on International Labour Day or May Day or Labour Day to celebrate the accomplishment of workers. Lots of programmes and celebrations are organised on this day. Various banners and flags were also decorated by labourers of different colours. To increase the social awareness among people various news and messages are distributed by the TV and radio channels by saying Happy Labour Day. 

International Labour Day 2023: Quotes

1. “Work isn’t to make money; you work to justify life.” – Marc Chagall

2. "No human masterpiece has been created without great labour." - Andre Gide

3. "Nothing will work unless you do."- Maya Angelou

4. "The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it.” – Mother Teresa

5. “Without labour, nothing prospers.” – Sophocles

6. "Each year, Labor Day gives us an opportunity to recognize the invaluable contributions that working men and women make to our nation, our economy and our collective prosperity. It gives us a chance to show gratitude for workers' grit, dedication, ingenuity and strength, which define our nation's character."- Tom Perez

7. "It is only through labour and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things."- Theodore Roosevelt

8. " Capital is dead labour, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks."- Karl Marx

9. "I believe in the dignity of labour, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living."-John D. Rockefeller

10. "Without labor nothing prospers."- Sophocles

Labour Day or May Day is celebrated every year across the world in various countries on the 1st of May to spread awareness about the rights and opportunities every Labour should get for their welfare and betterment.

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