The embodiment of civilization took place at the stroke of a worker's hammer. The progress of the world is through labor. But from the very beginning of civilization workers lost their rights. Sitting in a skyscraper, when the drem of conquering space is sown, the workers still bleed for their rights. The history of the realization of the rights of working peole have passed 133 years.
Each year on May 1, the world celebrated as international workers day or May day. Many countries of the world including Bangladesh, May day is an official holiday.
With the rise of industrialisation in the 19th century, the workers were asked to work for 15 hours a day. On May 1, 1886, the U.S. labour union voted to go on a strike demanding a decrease in working hours from 15 hours to 8 hours.
when that day arrived, between 3,00,000 to 5,00,000 US workers went on strike in citys and towns according to various historians estimates. But as the end of the workday approached, striking workers in Chicago attempted to confront strikebreakers at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. Large police contingents were protecting the strikebreakers, and officers opened fire on the striking workers, killing at least two.
As the police attempted to disperse the protesters on May 4 in Chicago's Haymarket Square, a bomb was thrown at them, killing seven officers and at least four civilians. Police subsequently rounded up and arrested eight anarchists.A court sentenced seven to death and one to 15 years imprisonment. Four were hanged, one committed suicide rather than face the gallows and two had their sentences commuted to life in prison.
The day commemorates past labour struggles against a host of workers' rights violations, including lengthy workdays and weeks, poor conditions and child labour.
In the late-19th century, socialists, communists and trade unionists chose May 1 to become International Workers Day.
This year, May day is being celebrated in the world devastated by the corona virus. The whole world is now reeling from the deadly corona virus transit. Around the world, billions of working people have lost their job and are starving. They have to return to the mills at the risks of their lives.
In Bangladesh, May day is celebrated by the Ministry of Labor and Employment through various event every year. But this year's situation is different. All ceremonies have been canceled to maintain social distance.
On this labor day, we must be determined that we will always ensure their honour and respect what they deserve.
Writer : Sk Sulaiman Kabir
Department of journalism & media studies Manarat International University