133 years of May Day: a day to remember

133 years of May Day: a day to remember

133 years of May Day: a day to remember

Written by Staff Writer

01 May, 2019 | 5:04 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – The world celebrates the International Workers’ Day: May Day today.

The theme of Labour Day 2019 is “The role of social stakeholders in a sustainable retirement scheme for all”

133 years ago on May 1st 1886, a group of workers gathered in Chicago, America demanding their work shift to be limited to 8 hours. Over a thousand workers held slogans and raised voices for the movement on that day, after 3 days the number of workers involved in the movement significantly surpassed 65,000.

May 3rd 1886, is the most decisive day of this historical revolution. Armed police officers backed by higher social class attacked the workers leading to four deaths. Following the attack, the workers flooded the Haymarket Square to protest against the attack and then developed into a riot.

The tension between the protestors and the police brewed up causing the death of a police officer due to a bomb explosion. The riot further escalated which resulted in deaths of 06 police officers. The number of workers who lost their lives during the riot is unknown to this day.

Albert Parsons, Johann Most, August Spies, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Samuel Fielden, Louis Lingg, Michael Schwab and Oscar Neebee, who were the frontline leaders of the May Day revolution were arrested and tried in court. Oscar Neebee was remanded for 15 years, while Samuel Fielden and Micheal Schwab were given life sentences. The other five were sentenced to death.

The International Labour Organization decided in 1889 that those who shed blood demanding an 8-hour shift, on behalf of all labourers across the world, should be remembered for their eternal struggle. Therefore May 1st was declared the International Workers Day.


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