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Labour Day is a holiday celebrated in many countries of the world. It emerged during the 19th and 20th centuries with the labour union and eight-hour-day movements as a means to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers.
Also known as Eight Hours Day in Tasmania and May Day in the Northern Territory of Australia, Labour Day commemorates the granting of the eight-hour working day for Australians. It also recognizes workers’ contributions towards the nation’s economy. It is an annual public holiday and its date varies across the states and territories.
On 21 April, 1856, stonemasons and workers on construction sites around Melbourne stopped work and marched from the University of Melbourne to Parliament House to achieve an eight hour day. Their direct action protest was a success, and they are noted as the first organized workers in the world to achieve an eight hour day with no loss of pay.
Child Laborer, 1912
The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class -- And What We Can Do About It
The American Labor Movement
by Walter M. Daniels
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