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History: Why we Observe Worker’s day holiday

Labour Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, is celebrated on May 1, every year in many countries around the world. This day is dedicated to the working class and their contributions to society. The history and evolution of Labour Day is a story of the struggles and triumphs of the labour movement.

The origins of Labour Day can be traced back to the late 19th century when workers in industrialised countries were fighting for better working conditions, fair wages and the right to form labour unions.
In the United States, the first Labour Day was celebrated in 1882 in New York City and was organised by the Central Labour Union. It was meant to be a day off for the working class, a time to celebrate their hard work and contributions to society. It quickly spread to other cities and became a yearly event.

In 1889, the International Socialist Conference in Paris declared May 1 as International Workers’ Day, to commemorate the Haymarket affair, which was held in Chicago in 1886. On May 1 of that year, a peaceful demonstration of workers turned violent when a bomb was thrown at police, killing several officers and demonstrators. Eight anarchists were arrested and convicted, despite little evidence linking them to the crime. Four were executed, and one committed suicide in prison. The Haymarket affair became a rallying cry for workers around the world and inspired the creation of International Workers’ Day.

In the early 20th century, Labour Day became an important day for political rallies and demonstrations, especially in socialist and communist countries. It was a day for workers to demand better working conditions, higher wages, and more rights. The Soviet Union made May 1 a national holiday in 1917, and many other countries followed suit.

In the United States, Labour Day became a federal holiday in 1894, following the Pullman Strike, which saw over 250,000 workers go on strike to protest wage cuts and poor working conditions. President Grover Cleveland signed the law making Labour Day a federal holiday, just six days after the end of the strike, as a way to ease tensions and improve relations between government and labour unions.

Over the years, the meaning and significance of Labour Day has evolved. In many countries, it is still a day for political rallies and demonstrations, but it is also a day for celebrating the achievements of the working class. It is a time to recognize the contributions of workers to society and to honour the struggles of those who fought for better working conditions and labour rights.

In some countries, Labour Day has become an occasion for spring festivals and parades. In others, it is a day for picnics, barbecues and family gatherings. However, the spirit of the labour movement and the struggles of the working class are still at the heart of the holiday.

In Nigeria Labour Day which is ordinarily known as Worker’s day is also a day workers especially public officers take a day of from work to celebrate their efforts in the workforce industry.

Worker’s day holiday was observed yesterday but in the some states in the Eastern part of Nigeria especially Enugu, the holiday was postponed to the next day which is the 2nd of May reasons being that 1st of May was on a Monday and as such it is the ritual sit-at-home day.

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