~ Avantika Banerjee Founder and Editor ISLR
THE CELEBRATION OF MAYDAY: NOBILITY OF THE WORKING CLASS
Mayday is celebrated around the world to commemorate the contribution of the working class and acknowledge their hard work towards nation building. Mayday signifies the long struggle of the working class for decent working hours and humane working conditions.
At the peak of Industrial Revolution, the working class which was forced to work up to fifteen hours a day demanded for basic human rights in regard to the working situation. The struggle started in United States of America and spread throughout various developed nations which owed their growth to rapid industrialization therefore to the working class. The Industrial Revolution made the ruling class blind towards the needs of the working class and hence many people died due to poor living and working conditions.
The social unrest led to the formation of trade unions which were later affiliated and made the American Labor Federation. On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers (40,000 in Chicago alone) from 13,000 business walked out of their jobs across the country. In the following days, more workers joined, and the number of strikers grew to almost 100,000.
This protest took a bad shape on May 3rd when the Chicago police where the protests were taking place took coercive action towards the workers and several people were killed and wounded in the clash. May 1st from their after is celebrated in the honor of those who died in the protest for the cause of the rights of the workers.
MAYDAY, LABOR RIGHTS: AN ILLUSION IN INDIA
Mayday was first celebrated in India in 1923 in Madras led by Singaravelar, leader of the Labor Kisan Party of Hindustan, Since then it is celebrated in most states as a state holiday as an acknowledgement of the working class.
Mayday is although celebrated in India every year, but the working class is far from receiving the basic rights in India. The informal sector consists of 94% of the total working population. This sector does not have any prescribed working hours or pension schemes or health insurance.
The new and improved labor codes will be introduced which will consolidate 44 different labor laws into a code of with 4 categories namely Wage Code; Social Security Code; Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code; and the Industrial Relations Code.
The labor codes aim at regulating the interpersonal relationship of the employee and employer better along with an assertive foot towards the social security interest of the labor class. Yet the major issue of the Indian labor class still remains the unorganized sector their lives depend upon the mercy of the employer and often no remedy under the law.
Migrant worker issue, children and adults working in mines or other unhealthy environment are not only devoid of the rights under the labor law but also their fundamental right of life and liberty. In a nation where Mayday is celebrated each year, we have managed to overlook the rights of the working class for very long.
Let’s be vocal about their rights. Viva La Revolution