International Labour Day 2024 Theme, History And Why Celebrated

International Labour Day 2024

On Wednesday, May 1, 2024, International Labor Day is celebrated around the world. It is an official holiday for the workers as well as mandatory rest for employees. Labour Day is also known as May Day and Worker Day, a date that is commemorated globally to pay tribute to the struggle of workers for their rights and decent working conditions. This day, marked by history and labour demands since the end of the 19th century, has a special meaning, where the entrepreneurial spirit is manifested with great force.




International Labour Day 2024 Theme

International Labour Day, also known as May Day, often addresses current issues and challenges faced by workers globally. Every year, there is an International Labour Day 2024 Theme to celebrate. it. Every year, the theme is announced by international labour organisations like the International Labour Organization (ILO). This year, the focus is on ensuring safety and health at work in a changing climate. 

Under this theme, they underscore the critical importance of addressing the impacts of climate change on workplace safety and occupational health. The global temperature rise and extreme weather events become more frequent and severe. As a result, workers across industries face higher risks and challenges. Under this theme, it is important to highlight the proactive measures to protect workers from climate-related hazards such as heat stress, air pollution, natural disasters, and vector-borne diseases. Moreover, ensuring safety and health at work in a changing climate requires collaboration between employers, governments, trade unions, and other stakeholders. Employers need to create more resilient work environments for the workers to safeguard the well-being of workers, and build a sustainable future for all.




History of International Labor Day

The origins of International Labour Day can be traced to a massive walkout by thousands of workers in Chicago, Illinois, in 1886, demanding an eight-hour workday exhausted by 16 hours a day, without weekly rest. The strike they started had its epicentre in the industrial city of Chicago, in the United States, and quickly spread throughout the country, bringing together more than 350,000 workers in protests throughout the national territory. Nearly 40,000 people participated in the mobilisation in Chicago, which was violently put down by the police, resulting in six fatalities and numerous injuries. A larger protest was called in Haymarket Square in response to this violence. A bomb detonated on May 4, during this incident, was claimed to have been planted by anarchist Rudolph Schnaubelt. It killed one police officer and injured several more. The “Haymarket Massacre” is the name given to this incident. The New York Times at the time stated that the strikes could “cripple our industry, diminish commerce, and curb our nation’s resurgent prosperity, but they will not achieve their objective” due to the significant influence of these events. Nonetheless, these labourers’ struggle was not in vain, as it deeply marked international labour history. May 1st was selected as a memorial day for the Chicago Martyrs.



Has International Labour Day been observed since when?

May 1st was declared International Labour Day by the Second International in 1889 to commemorate the struggle for labour rights and to remember the events that occurred in Chicago. Since then, workers all over the world have gathered together to commemorate their accomplishments and call for improved working conditions on this day, which has come to represent their unanimity.




Beyond a holiday: A reflection on current work

With today’s workplace characterised by precariousness, inequality, and the difficulties of the digital age, International Labour Day has even greater significance.

International Labour Day challenges us to consider what it means to work in today’s world and to envision a more equal and just workplace in the future. Now is the moment to demand improved working conditions for all and to acknowledge the worth of decent work.




Why Celebrate International Labour Day?

International Labour Day is celebrated to honour the contributions and achievements of workers around the world. There are many reasons to celebrate it.

  • History Significance: As we already tell you the history of International Labour Day. It is a day to honour the Chicago Martyrs. This day symbolises the sacrifices made by workers in their fight for labour rights and serves as a reminder of the importance of workers’ struggles throughout history.
  • Advocacy for Workers’ Rights: It is a day to provide a platform for advocating for workers’ rights and highlighting the challenges faced by labourers worldwide. That is why, every year a theme is announced by the International Labour Organization to raise awareness about different problems of workers.
  • Solidarity and Unity: International Labour Day brings solidarity and unity in the workers, labour and employees. It brings together people from diverse backgrounds and industries to celebrate their shared achievements.
  • Global Movement: International Labour Day is celebrated worldwide. It demonstrates the global nature of the labour movement and its universal significance. On this day, labour rights are considered fundamental human rights that need to be paid attention to by the employer or government.’
  • Recognition of Workers’ Contributions: International Labour Day is an opportunity to recognize and appreciate the contributions of workers to society and the economy. 





International Labour Day or Workers Day is celebrated on 1 May every year. It stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of workers’ struggles for justice and dignity. Every year, it is celebrated with a theme decided by the International Labour Organization, where they focus on different labour problems and bring awareness to the world. It originated from the Haymarket affair in 1886, it commemorates the sacrifices of those who fought for fundamental labour rights, including the eight-hour workday.

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