An Objective Study of the Labor Day and What It Really Is.
This writer believes that the USA is making a mockery out of our labor force whether it is blue or white collar.
Inspired by ancient Greek festivals like the Anthesteria, May Day was originally a celebration of spring and the rebirth taking place in nature during that time of the year. Traditionally, May Day is characterized by the gathering of flowers and the fertility rite of dancing around the maypole. In recent years, particularly in socialist and Communist countries, May Day has become a labor festival honoring the military and industrial efforts of the country.
The eight-hour movement to reduce the working day from 10 to eight hours began after the Civil War. It was a major aim of the National Labor Union, whose first congress met in 1866. By 1868 congress and six states passed an eight-hour legislation. In 1884 the National Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Assemblies decided to call for a general strike on May 1, 1886, to enforce demands for employers to observe the eight-hour day. In 1947, amidst the anti-Communist Cold War hysteria, the US Veterans of Foreign Wars renamed May 1 as “Loyalty Day” and a joint session of Congress later made the pronouncement official.
In many countries, the May 1 holiday was obtained by trade union agitation supported by socialist parties. However, in Germany where such agitation had proved fruitless, it was instituted in 1933 as a gift from Hitler, being promptly followed by the abolition of trade unions. In the United Kingdom, a May Day Bank Holiday was instituted in 1978 for trade unionists to celebrate, but was held on the first Monday in May to minimize the damage to business.
In China, Labor Day was extended to 3 days during the 1990s. The Chinese government made it a seven-day holiday by moving the prior and upcoming weekends together with these three days. This holiday allowed millions of Chinese people to travel during this period. The Chinese government reduced this holiday period down to one day in 2008, while simultaneously reviving three traditional Chinese holidays: the Dragon Boat Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival. (Retrieved: 8/30/2019 from https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/common/labor-day.
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. (Retrieved 8,30, 2018 from https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history).
The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed in 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During 1887 four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1884, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. (Retrieved 8,30, 2018 from https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history).
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country. (Retrieved 8,30, 2018 from https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history).
May Day ceremonies that stem from the traditional centuries-old May Day traditions are celebrated across the world. In Hawaii, May Day is known as Lei Day to celebrate the island’s culture.
In the United Kingdom, May Day is still celebrated in many towns with the crowning of the May Queen. Maypoles can still be found in some towns and May Day traditions may include hobby horses and local people dressed in costumes. In Oxford, traditions are upheld for May Day celebrations, starting with the choir of Magdalen College singing from the top of the chapel tower.
Labor Day stems from the efforts of the labor union movement to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. In Mexico, it is referred to as Primero de Mayo, and is a national holiday honoring workers. Some groups organize parades or protests to promote and protect workers’ rights. (Retrieved: 8/30/2019 frohttps://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/common/labor-day)
Dr. Sabri g. Bebawi, Social Scientist