The historic May Day is being observed today in the country as elsewhere across the world with a pledge to establish the rights of workers, reports UNB. May Day, also known as International Workers’ Solidarity Day, commemorates the historic uprising of working people in Chicago, USA, at the height of a prolonged fight for an eight-hour workday.
The day is a public holiday. Trade unions and professional groups have taken up various programmes to observe the day to press for improving the working conditions with better wages for the workers and job security.
Garment Workers Trade Union Centre will arrange separate rallies at Nabisco Shaheed Minar in Tejoan industrial area and Aftab Nagar in Rampura of the capital marking the day. Garment workers will bring out processions at Paltan in the capital and in different industrial areas across the country on the day, demanding justice for the victims of Rana Plaza incident.
Bangladesh Trade Union Sangha and Bangladesh Jatiya Sramik Jote chalked out different programmes in the capital and different places of the country. Bangladesh Communist Party (CPB) will arrange a rally in the capital on the occasion. Newspapers will publish supplements while radio and television channels air special programmes. President Abdul Hamid in a May Day message urged all to come forward for ensuring welfare of the working class people through establishing their rights and dignity including due wage, safety and hygienic working environment.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, expressed hope that both owners and workers will put in their best efforts to boost production in their factories through maintaining good relations between them.
“We’ve implemented various programmes to maintain unity and good relations between workers and owners, and ensure a safe working environment and social safety net,” she added.
On May 1, 1886, 10 workers were killed when police opened fine on a demonstration in the US city of Chicago near Hay Market demanding an eight-hour working day instead of a 12-hour shift. On the height of agitation, the authorities had to accept the workers’ demand and the eight-hour day has been introduced universally.
On July 14, 1889 in Paris, an international workers’ rally declared May 1 as the International Workers Solidarity Day in recognition of the Chicago workers’ sacrifice and achievement and since 1890, the day has been observed globally as the International Workers Solidarity Day.