Communists hail May Day in Kolkata

May 1st, 2009 - 5:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Kolkata, May 1 (ANI): Trade Union activists, Communist Party cadres and hosts of workers observed May Day also known as the International Workers’ Day here on Friday.To mark the occasion, they paid homage to the valiant workers who laid down their lives fighting for workers’ rights.

The party cadres better known as comrades, offered the ‘Lal Salaam’ and also raised slogans for the ‘workers of the world to unite’.

“Through the medium of the convention, it was decided that labourers would have an eight-hour shift, eight-hour house rest and eight hours to fulfill their social responsibilities. This concept of eight hours has been accepted all over the world and our country also is one of the signatories,” said Alok Banerjee, a trade union leader and General Secretary, All India Medical Representatives Association, Kolkata.

Placards denouncing India’s foreign policy, imperialism and communalism were carried by the participants at the celebrations.

Banerjee also added that the violence by Maoists in the name of crusade for the farmer and labour rights in several states of the country were actually an insult to the great communist leader Mao Zedong, the revolutionary leader of China.

“Maoists have tarnished the name of Mao. His concept or theory had ushered a major revolution in China. The Maoists are totally against the philosophies which Mao had initiated and proceeded,” said Banerjee.

Banerjee also narrated how the historic workers’ movement first started with the idea of a ‘workers’ holiday’ in Australia in 1856.

While this demand spread across the world, police gunned down four workers in Chicago in 1886, during an agitation against unlimited working hours. Later, several workers were killed in a bomb attack and police riot during a rally on the next day at Hay Market.

The martyrdom of these workers in Chicago laid the foundation for the International Labour Organization and its stipulations regarding eight hours work, minimum wages and social welfare and protection.

India has been observing Labour Day since May 1, 1927. It is a public holiday with processions taken out by various labour organisations. (ANI)

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