International Workers’ Day
The International Workers’ Day also known as May Day or Labour Day is celebrated to commemorate the workers’ strike in 1886, when Chicago (along with other cities) was a place of huge union movement requiring the legal establishment of 8-hour day. The movement was accompanied by armed attacks on strikers, which resulted in six killed people and a large number of strikers who were injured and arrested.
Upon the decision made by the Second International, that day is celebrated as the International Workers’ Day and many countries accepted it as a national holiday. The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia guarantees the right to work and to freedom of work in its Article 55 that stipulates: “Everyone shall be free to choose his/her vocation and occupation, and shall have access to each workplace and post under equal conditions.”
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1, adopted and passed at the UN General
Assembly on 10 December 1948 stipulates in Article 23:
1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable.
conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
This year, Labour Day is observed under the theme “Sustainable Pension for all: The Role of Social Partners”. Last year the theme was “Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement”. Themes for others years is enlisted below.
The Themes of International Labour Day For Different Years:
- “Celebrating the international labour movement”.(2017),
- “Celebrating the international labour movement”.(2016),
- “Construct the Future of Cameroon in Peace, Solidarity, and Decent Work”(2015),
- “Providing of the Job with helping of the Capital by giving value the work”(2014),
- “Let’s value work by providing the jobless with start-up capital support“(2013),
- “Promote Employment by Supporting Prospective Entrepreneurs”(2012)
These are the themes that are rich in meaning, relevance and significance, and one that reinforces the absolute mandate of the labour movement throughout the World. They give value to the advancements attained by trade unions and labour organizations and underscores the need to strengthen our resolve for social justice.
It is all too common for society to relegate of ordinary value the
contributions of workers and the strides made by trade unions and Labour organizations in strengthening laws and elevating social and economic standards of workers. These achievements have certainly contributed to the overall national development of our Country. Landmark decisions and legislative changes are the bountiful harvest of the sweat, tears and even blood of our forefathers in the labour movement. Their selfless pursuit of humane standards motivated governments to respond, by legislating laws that were fair, and promoted the welfare of workers – influencing legislation with a human face, rather than a heart of exploitation. They persevered to promote legislation that recognized that people were absolutely indispensable to the production process and the accumulation of wealth.
The progress and strides made by the labour movement around the world must always be at the fore and core of our collective consciousness.
We must of necessity focus on our achievements and more importantly aim to build on that foundation. Never should we lose sight of opportunities to make further advancements. Any oblivion on our partmay result in a potential loss of ground, underscoring the need to zealously guard those advantages.
Let today be an opportunity for introspection, as workers, employers and as a nation. One in which we must challenge ourselves, by tracing our history, assessing our achievements and mapping out a revised route on the way forward. Our role and function as stakeholders must be reassessed, to determine what brand of employer or employee we are, and the classification of a nation we are building. In so doing, there must be a re‐evaluation and a recommitment to the cause for which our forefathers struggled so hard to institute, to ensure the preservation of our civility.
May Day Images and Quotes