May Day, the international workers’ day, is coming around again.
This year it falls on a Friday but in most states it will be celebrated on the weekend, on either the 2nd or 3rd May.
Either way, there will be a march or event in your state to mark the occasion. Check your local trades and labour council for details.
May Day has been celebrated as a workers’ day since the late 19th century and has its origins in the struggle for the 8 hour working day, especially that conducted in the United States during the 1880s.
In 1886, thousands of workers across the US walked off the job to march in support of the 8 hour day claim.
The movement was violently suppressed but not before it had inspired an international movement in support of the struggle for shorter working hours and decent working conditions.
Today workers remember both these early struggles and more recent ones in defence of the interests of working people and their rights to live decent, healthy and rewarding lives.
Remember, the rights we enjoy today were won, not handed over by the employers out of the goodness of their hearts. That is the message of May Day.