Thursday, May 1, 2008

International Workers' Day

May 1st, International Workers' Day, commemorates the historic struggle of working people throughout the world and is recognized as "Labor Day" in every country except the United States, Canada, and South Africa.

The holiday began in the 1880s in the United States, with the fight for an eight-hour work day. In 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions passed a resolution stating that eight hours would constitute the legal maximum day's work from and after May 1, 1886. The movement was also supported by many locals of the Knights of Labor.

Today's legislation on the 40-hour week and the eight-hour day in most workplaces and the requirement for overtime pay rates are a direct result of labor's historic and ongoing effort to improve the lives of all working families.

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