Published May 1, 2012 by Tony


"The Fourth Estate" by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo

Today in Italy is celebrated the national “Festa dei lavoratori” (Workers Day or May Day) also called “festa del Lavoro” (Labour day), as it happens officially in other 80 states worldwide like France, UK, Spain, Chile, China, Germany,  Russia, Greece, Slovenia, Swiss, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Egypt,  Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Cuba and any EU country. But unofficially in other countries too, as india.
It is celebrated worldwide on 1 May each year and highlight the commitment of the trade union movement and the achievements in economic and social field from the workers. This holiday, on the other hand, is a global celebration, through which we remember and support the struggles of workers’ organizations and movements; by its very nature, its principles refer to leftist ideas, but despite these clear political overtones, is a national holiday in many nations.
Oddly, in USA the similar holiday “Labor Day” is differently celebrated on the first Monday in September, because originates in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. In other parts of the world, however, to finally bring down the choice of this holiday on May 1, were the serious incidents that occurred in early May 1886 in Chicago and known as the Haymarket affairs. The May 3 Chicago workers on strike, they found themselves at the McCormick factory farm, where the police called to quell the crowd, fired on demonstrators, killing two and wounding several others. In October 1884, a convention held by the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions unanimously set May 1, 1886, as the date by which the eight-hour work day would become standard. As the chosen date approached, U.S. labor unions prepared for a general strike in support of the eight-hour day. Commemoration of May Day became an annual event the following year. Historian Philip Foner on that time wrote “here is little doubt that everyone associated with the resolution passed by the Paris Congress knew of the May 1 demonstrations and strikes for the eight-hour day in 1886 in the United States … and the events associated with the Haymarket tragedy”. This year, since the States have never aligned their Labour Day on this date, protesters ‘Occupy Wall Street’ declared a national strike.

Haymarket Riot-Harpers
Anyway, that this holiday is celebrated in May or September has little importance because it is important that there is and continues to be, although it would be nice to have a unique celebration made on the same day all over the world.
In Italy, since 1990, the Italian trade unions CGIL, CISL and UIL organize annually, in many cities, parades and concerts to celebrate May 1,  attended by hundreds of thousands of people each year.

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