International Labour Day is being observed today (Saturday) to honour the tireless assistance and sacrifices of workers globally and promote them to be knowledgeable of their rights.
Labour Day is marked on May 1 every year. The day has its origins in the labour union movement and is celebrated in countries like India, Cuba, China and others.
In this regard, Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Dr. Arif Alvi, in their separate messages, have recalled the commitment for the protection of rights and welfare of the workers.
They also reiterated the government’s commitment to improve the working and living conditions of workers and the provision of housing and education facilities to them.
In his message, the President pushed workers of the country to come forward and play their role in making Pakistan a symbol of progress.
He said on this day, we reaffirm our resolve to continue our efforts for the dignity of labour and eulogize their valiant and heroic struggle for their fundamental rights.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that as workers’ role is pivotal for the economic development of any country, his government is committed to ensure that the benefits of economic progress will bring prosperity to the country.
“The day also provides us an opportunity to acknowledge invaluable contributions of our labour,” he said.
He said the Government also aims to develop automated, integrated systems for workers’ welfare institutions to provide relief to the workers.
Imran Khan added, “Our Government is fully aware of the challenges COVID-19 situation and our policy of striking a balance between the lives and the livelihoods is aimed at enabling the work force to have sufficient earning for their families during the pandemic.”
History Of Labour Day
The first May Day celebrations focused on workers took place on May 1st 1890 after its proclamation by the first international congress of socialist parties in Europe on July 14th 1889 in Paris, France, to dedicate May 1 every year as the “Workers Day of International Unity and Solidarity.”
The date was chosen due to events on the other side of the Atlantic. In 1884 the American Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions demanded an eight-hour workday, to come in effect as of May 1st 1886. This resulted in the general strike and the Haymarket (in Chicago) Riot of 1886, but eventually also in the official sanction of the eight-hour workday.
Significance Of Labour Day
Labour day has its origins in the labour union movement, particularly the eight-hour day movement, which supports eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. May Day has long been a crucial point for demonstrations by various socialist, communist and anarchist groups. It has been an important official holiday in countries such as the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba, and the former Soviet Union. This Day’s celebrations typically feature elaborate popular and military parades in these countries. During the Cold War, May Day became intermittent for large military parades in Red Square by the Soviet Union and was attended by the top leaders of the Kremlin, especially the Politburo, atop Lenin’s Tomb. It became an enduring symbol of that period.