May Day – a landmark for workers

_47760393_009204683-1May day, a great milestone in the lives of workers, began in 1886 in USA, where capitalists extracted work for 20 hours while squeezing their blood. Workers were treated as slaves. No longer had it continued as labourers revolted against the managements in Chicago.

At last their agitation for rights saw the light of the day and since then that day had turned out to be May day. But not before the striking workers were subjected to cruelty, police tyranny and bullets. Blood flowed in torrents but the martyrs’ protest did not go unnoticed. Red flag was hoisted by the victors and ended the workers’ slavery.

Chicago workers’ victory became a role model for all around the globe. It set the tone for continuing a united battle opposed to the management’s oppressive tactics. It remained as a red letter day in the history. Chicago became a torch-bearer. But before that the clashes claimed a constable’s life, which led to beheading of four labour leaders.

The event sparked off a furore across the world and resulted in achieving eight hours duty, pay hike and movements for job security. It also paved the way for installation of first ever socialist government in Russia in 1917.  India celebrated the first May day in Madras in 1923.


Unfortunately the fall of Sovet Union in 1991 gave scope for a complex situation in which the hard earned movement began to suffer. And once again difficult days commenced. The opportunistic managements under the pretext of progress, development and equality attacked the workers’ unions. Global recession turned out to be a great setback to job security.

 Trade unions also tasted several divisions led by different self-centred leaders which by and large weakened the once strong movement. Minimum rights were ignored in India too. Unorganised sector began reeling without a security cover. Working days too increased indiscriminately. Once again the working class had been driven to a predicament and coerced to fight for their minimum rights, wages and employment security.

Medaram Jathara

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