“Labour Day May 1st – What holiday is this?”

Every year on May 1st, we celebrate Labor Day, also known as International Workers’ Day. Where did the tradition of this holiday, which has been observed since 1890, come from? In Poland, Labor Day has also been celebrated since 1890 and has been a national holiday since 1950.

Is May 1st Labor Day a day off work and school?

Labor Day, observed annually on May 1st, is a statutory day off work and school. If, like in 2021, Labor Day falls on a Saturday, employees are entitled to another additional day off instead.

Where does the tradition of May 1st Labor Day come from?

Labor Day originated in the United States, specifically in Chicago. In 1886, the owner of a company named McCormick Harvester decided to dismiss all his employees and replace them with new ones to modernize his plant.

On May 1st, former employees initiated strikes that lasted several days. Their goal, beyond the rebellion against the company owner, was to highlight the broader issue of workers. Wages were very low, working conditions were harsh, and the workday lasted up to 12 hours. After a few days, the strike turned into riots, leading to clashes with police. These clashes resulted in the Haymarket Riot of 1886.

May 1st became a holiday in 1889 to commemorate the events of the first days of May 1886. It has been celebrated since 1890 and has become a symbol of workers’ struggle for better working conditions and an 8-hour workday.


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