Here’s why we observe Labour Day

Here’s why we observe Labour Day

Written by Bella Dalima

01 May, 2017 | 9:14 pm

International Labour Day is the day that marks the struggle of the working people to win their rights, overcoming the challenges of the capitalist system.

On the 1st of May 1886, workers gathered at Haymarket square in Chicago in the United States, demanding that their workday be limited to 8 hours.

More than 150,000 people participated in the 4 day long strike.

The struggle ended, claiming the lives of hundreds of workers.

While the strike ended in bloodshed at Haymarket square, the workers won their demand for an 8 hour workday and several other rights.

This in turn led to the raising of red flags across the world, demanding guarantees of worker’s rights.

Sri Lanka first celebrated Labour Day in 1927 under the leadership of the Leader of the Labour Party, A.E. Gunasinghe.

As a Mayor of Colombo, a member of parliament and a Minister, Gunasinghe led the effort to rally a force to combat the oppression of British imperialism.

 

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