International Workers’ Day or Labour Day, also known as May Day is a day to commemorate the undying contribution of the workers which eases our life. Stemming from the Labour movement and a cause that is respected by socialists, Communists, May Day celebrates and honours workers.
This public holiday holds prime importance to labour rights activists.
Labour Unions in US on May 1, 1886 decided to go on a strike with the demand of a maximum 8 hour working schedule per day. Blasts in Chicago led to several deaths and later May 1 was zeroed on to be the International Worker’s Day.
In India, May Day was first celebrated on May 1, 1923, after the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan initiated and Comrade Singaravelar lead the celebrations. In two public meetings in Chennai, the Comrade passed a resolution stating the government should allow everybody a public holiday on Labour Day.
This was also the first time a red flag was flung in India.
Labour exploitation has been looming on the lives of the workers since ages. This is not confined to extended wage hours or unequal pay, but is visibly spread to other worst forms.
Child labour, for which protection laws have been passed since ages. But we can still spot a Chotu in a restaurant cleaning dishes or in a brick kiln with a truckload of bricks under the scorching heat. Laws have been violated, mended but the sorry state of affairs still prevails. Activists, legal experts have protested, led rescue missions, but in a vastly populated nation, it is barely impossible to eradicate child labour. Poverty pushes these young souls to harden their soles and not brighten their skills.
Bonded labour, the form which remains masked under other forms of exploitation is known to wreak havoc on the labour force. Bondage entails the entire family of the worker and meager payments barely keeps them alive. Deceit and forgery for those illiterate workers never shows them the light of the day. Many international organizations have carried out campaigns to spread awareness to be wary before being lured to higher wages.
Solidarity to the force that painstakingly does the needful for us.