The world celebrates the 137th International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day, today (01).
On May 1, 1886, a group of workers gathered in Chicago, USA, demanding that their working hours be limited to eight.
The number of people who joined the demonstration was more than a thousand and by the third day, the number of workers who participated in it exceeded 65,000.
May 3, 1886 was a decisive day in the strike. At the behest of the employers, a group of armed police officers attacked the workers, killing four.
More than 150,000 people joined the strike that lasted for 4 days, and on May 4th, a group of workers gathered at Haymarket Square in Chicago to protest the attack on the previous day.
A police officer was also killed in a bomb attack. The conflict further escalated, killing six police officers.
The exact number of workers killed in the riot is still unknown.
Labor leaders who inspired the struggle August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Adolf Fischer, Louis Lingg, Oscar Neebe, Albert Parsons and Michael Schwab were arrested and later prosecuted.
Oscar Neebe was sentenced to 15 years in prison, while Samuel Fielden and Michael Schwab were sentenced to life in prison.
The other five were sentenced to be hanged.
In 1889, the International Labor Organization decided that the colleagues who sacrificed their lives for labour rights should be remembered forever.
Accordingly, the 1st of May was declared as the International Labor Day.
Under the leadership of Labor Party Leader A. E. Gunasinghe, Sri Lanka celebrated Labor Day for the first time in 1927.