May Day being observed in Bangladesh

Raushan Ara works in Aminbazar area, Savar, DhakaProthom Alo file photo

May Day is being observed in Bangladesh as elsewhere across the world on Sunday, reports UNB.

May Day, also known as the International Workers’ Solidarity Day, commemorates the historic uprising of working people in the US city of Chicago at the height of a prolonged fight for an eight-hour workday in the late nineteenth century.

The day is a public holiday in Bangladesh.

This year, the theme for this historic day in Bangladesh is ‘Sramik-Malik Ekota, Unnoyoner Nischoyota’’ (roughly translated reads: Workers-owners unity, assurance of development).

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages ahead of the day.

President Hamid called upon all stakeholders to work together to ensure the welfare of the country’s workers.

“In order to survive in today’s competitive world, workers and employers along with the government will need to be more dedicated to maintaining a good relationship to boost production,” the President said.

The Prime Minister in her message said, “Our government has taken all possible measures to tackle the Covid situation, including distribution of relief among the working people to stand beside them.”

She urged all to build a happy, rich and Sonar Bangla as dreamt by Bangabandhu by working for the welfare of the working people and the country.

Newspapers published supplements while radio and television channels are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.

Different organisations, political parties have chalked out dedicated programmes to observe the day.

On 1 May, 1886, 10 workers were killed when police opened fire on a demonstration in Chicago near Hay Market demanding an eight-hour working day instead of a 12-hour shift.

At the height of agitation, authorities had to accept the workers’ demand and the eight-hour day was introduced universally.

On 14 July, 1889, an international workers’ rally in Paris declared 1 May as the International Workers’ Solidarity Day in recognition of the Chicago workers’ sacrifice and achievement and since 1890, the day has been observed globally.