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Historic May Day today

The historic May Day is being observed in Bangladesh on Monday as elsewhere across the world with due respect.

May Day, also known as the International Workers’ Solidarity Day, commemorates the historic uprising of working people in Chicago, USA 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 of the day in Bangladesh is “Sramik-malik oikya gori, smart Bangladesh gore tuli” (roughly translated: “Let’s develop workers-employers unity, build smart Bangladesh”.

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

Different organizations and political parties have chalked out various programmes to observe the day.

On May 1, 1886, 10 workers were killed when police opened fire on a demonstration in the US city of Chicago, demanding an eight-hour workday instead of a 12-hour shift. The authorities had to accept the workers’ demand and the eight-hour day was introduced universally.

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