International Worker’s Day

May 1 is International Worker’s Day or Labour Day. While unofficial activities and commemorations associated with International Workers Day occur on May Day in Australia, Labour Day in the various states and territories generally falls on other days. Only in the Northern Territory (where it is called May Day) and Queensland is Labour Day celebrated on the first Monday in May, which is a public holiday under the name of “May Day”. Queensland holds the biggest rallies in Australia, with the rally in Brisbane averaging 30,000 people. 

 How Four Different Countries Celebrate the Day

The date was chosen by a pan-national organisation of socialist and communist political parties to commemorate the Haymarket Affair, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886. The 1904 Sixth Conference of the Second International, called on “all Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.”

The History of Labour Day in Australia

The first of May is a national public holiday in many countries worldwide, in most cases as “Labour Day”, “International Workers’ Day” or some similar name – although some countries celebrate a Labour Day on other dates significant to them, such as the United States, which celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September.

Basic History around the World

A Labour Day Protest in Australia