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History and Significance of Labour Day in India

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Labour Day, also known as International Workers’ Day or May Day, is celebrated on May 1st every year in many countries around the world, including India. This day is a tribute to the hard work and contribution of workers to society. In this article, we will discuss the history and significance of Labour Day in India.

1 May Labour Day

The Origin of Labour Day:

The origin of Labour Day can be traced back to the late 19th century in the United States. It was on May 1, 1886, that a group of workers in Chicago, USA, went on a strike to demand an eight-hour workday. The strike continued for several days, and on May 4, a clash broke out between the workers and the police, resulting in the death of several workers. This event is known as the Haymarket affair and became a turning point in the history of the labour movement.

In 1889, an international socialist conference declared May 1st as International Workers’ Day to commemorate the Haymarket affair and to demand better working conditions for workers around the world. Since then, May 1st has been celebrated as Labour Day in many countries around the world.

Labour Day in India:

In India, the first Labour Day was celebrated on May 1, 1923, in Chennai by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan. The party, led by Comrade Singaravelu Chettiar, organized a rally and demanded an eight-hour workday, minimum wage, and the abolition of the contractual system. Since then, Labour Day has been celebrated every year in India.

The significance of Labour Day in India:

Labour Day holds immense significance in India, as the country has a long history of exploitation of workers. During the British colonial period, workers in India were subjected to long working hours, low wages, and poor working conditions. The Indian labour movement played a crucial role in India’s struggle for independence, and after independence, the government enacted several laws to protect the rights of workers.Labour Day is a reminder that the struggle for workers’ rights is ongoing, and we must continue to fight for their rights and dignity.

Celebration of Labour Day in India:

Labour Day is celebrated in India with great enthusiasm. Workers’ organizations and trade unions organize rallies, seminars, and cultural programs to commemorate the day. The government also organizes programs to honor workers and recognize their contribution to society.


Labour Day is a day to honor and celebrate the contribution of workers to society. It is a reminder that we must continue to fight for the rights and dignity of workers, especially those in the unorganized sector. The day is also an opportunity to reflect on the progress made in the labor movement and to renew our commitment to the cause of workers’ rights.


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