The 1st day of May is observed all over the world to commemorate the historic struggle of the working people of the world. Today the working people enjoy a lot of privileges for their work. But long back the workers did not enjoy eight hours workday. But the privilege came through a blood-shedding struggle. The working people went on strikes in Chicago, America and the police of the country opened fire on them. It killed at least one and injured five or six workers. Thus the day is very much significant for working people.
May Day is International Workers Day which reminds the people of the struggle of the workers in order to achieve their rights. In 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions passed a resolution stating that eight hours would constitute a legal day’s work from and after May 1, 1886. The resolution called for a general strike to achieve the goal, since legislative methods had already failed. On that day, the workers of McComik Harvest Company went on strike to establish their rights. So, the police fired on the crowd and one striker died, five or six were seriously wounded and a lot of others were injured. The workers revolted for their rights, for gaining better working conditions and better salary. The events of May Day remind the people that workers will continue to be expoited unless they stand up and speak out to gain better working condition, better pay. As a result of May Day, the working people can enjoy a minimum wage safety laws and eight hour work day.
In a proclamation printed just before May 1, 1886, one publisher appealed to working people with this plea:
- Workingmen to Arms!
- War to the Palace, Peace to the Cottage, and Death to LUXURIOUS IDLENESS.
- The wage system is the only cause of the World’s misery. It is supported by the rich classes, and to destroy it, they must be either made to work or DIE.
- One pound of DYNAMITE is better than a bushel of BALLOTS!
- MAKE YOUR DEMAND FOR EIGHT HOURS with weapons in your hands to meet the capitalistic bloodhounds, police, and militia in proper manner.