Every year on May 1, people commemorate International Workers’ Day. May Day is also known as Labour Day or Workers’ Day. It is a national holiday and is observed honouring the achievements and contributions of the labour movement and working class.
In India, Labour Day is celebrated with speeches, parades, and processions in various parts of the country. The day is marked by demonstrations and rallies organized by trade unions, political parties, and other organizations representing the interests of workers. These events are often used as a platform to demand better working conditions, higher wages, and other labour-related issues.
The history of Labour Day in India can be traced back to the late 19th century when the labour movement began to take shape in the country. The first May Day celebration in India was held in Chennai in 1923, and the day was officially recognized as a national holiday in 1927.
Labour Day is an important day for workers in India, and it serves as a reminder of the need to protect and uphold the rights of the working class. It is a day to recognize the hard work and contributions of the millions of workers in the country and to continue the struggle for better working conditions and social justice.
First May Day
Labour Day was first observed in India in 1923 by the Labour Kisan Party, which organised the May Day celebrations in Chennai. Workers celebrate this day every year to honour the labour movement’s hard work and accomplishments. It is a single day dedicated just to the working class. People celebrate on various days across the world. However, it is on May 1 in the majority of nations. Labour denotes hard effort, especially physical work. Let’s know the origin, history and significance of International Workers’ Day.
The origins of Labour Day may be traced back to the 19th century when businessmen in the United States of America exploited the working people. The working class did all of the hard work but paid less. The origins of Labour Day may be traced back to the 19th century when businessmen in the United States of America exploited the working people. The working class did all of the hard work but was paid less. Labourers were made to labour 10 to 15 hours a day in any circumstances.
The most victimized workers were those in chemical industries, mines, and other comparable settings. When the workers couldn’t take it any longer, they banded together and fought back against injustice. As a result, they organized a trade union and went on strike. They also conducted demonstrations and rallies. Many protestors were arrested and sentenced to life in jail or death. The incident gave a significant boost to the workers’ movement. The government had to listen to their demands and cut the working day to 8 hours. As a result, this particular day is to commemorate and recognize the contributions of the working class.
The Day for Labourers
On May 1, International Workers’ Day commemorates the 1886 Haymarket riots in Chicago. The Haymarket crisis resulted from a bombing on May 4, 1886, at a labour protest in Chicago’s Haymarket Square. Chennai was the first city in India to celebrate Workers’ Day. Labour Day was first observed in India on May 1, 1923. The head of Hindustan’s Labour Kisan Party initiated the Workers’ Day celebration.
Malayapuram Singaravelu, or Comrade Singaravelar, the party’s head, organised two celebrations. The first gathering was held on Triplicane Beach. And the second was held on the beach adjacent to Madras High Court. During the meeting, Singaravelar passed a movement for the government to declare a national holiday on Labour Day in India. This was the first time in India that a red flag was hoisted.
Importance of Workers’ Day
Labour Day brings workers together and reminds them of their power when they work cooperatively. Labourers on this project can feel valued for the effort they have done over the year. This day highlights the workers and their needs and rights. The day is crucial because it allows employees to take a much-needed break from work and collect their thoughts, spend time with their loved ones, or recuperate their energy. This day inspires individuals to get back to work and work hard.
On Labour Day, all public and government offices, schools, and universities in India are closed. It is a national holiday in the majority of European countries. May Day is celebrated on various days of the year in Canada, the United States of America (USA), and Australia.
Labour Laws in India
In India, labour laws are governed by various statutes and regulations that protect the rights and interests of workers. Some of the important labour statutes in India are:
- The Factories Act, 1948 – This act regulates the working conditions in factories and provides for safety, health, and welfare measures for workers.
- The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 – This act ensures that workers are paid at least the minimum wage prescribed by the government.
- The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 – This act provides for the payment of bonuses to workers in certain industries.
- The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 – This act provides for the social security of workers by providing them with medical, disability, and other benefits.
- The Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 – This act provides for the establishment of a provident fund for the benefit of employees in certain industries.
- The Trade Unions Act, 1926 – This act regulates the formation and registration of trade unions and provides for the protection of the rights of workers to form and join unions.
- The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 – This act provides for the resolution of industrial disputes between employers and workers.
These are some of the important labour statutes in India that ensure the protection of workers’ rights and promote social justice in the country.
The Chennai Marina Labour Statue is a monument located in Marina Beach in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is a bronze statue that depicts a labourer holding a hammer in one hand and a sickle in the other, symbolizing the contributions of workers to the growth and development of the state.
The statue was erected in 1959 by the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, K. Kamaraj, as a tribute to the labourers who played a vital role in the development of the state. It is situated near the entrance of Marina Beach and has become a popular landmark in the city.
The statue stands about 14 feet tall and depicts a muscular labourer with a determined look on his face. The hammer and sickle in his hands represent the tools of his trade and symbolize the working-class struggle for justice and equality.
The Chennai Marina Labour Statue is a symbol of the pride and strength of the working class in Tamil Nadu and serves as a reminder of their contributions to the state’s development. It is a popular tourist attraction and a place where people gather to pay their respects to the working class.