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May Day ... International Day of the Worker

May 1st  is a day chosen by workers to acknowledge the struggles and celebrate the gains the labour movement has made throughout history.  Now, with workers rights and public services under attack by governments across this country and around the world, it is more important than ever to remember the importance of international solidarity and the history of May Day. 

The celebration of May Day grew out of the long and militant worldwide struggle for a shorter workday.  In Canada the fight began in 1872, when a throng of 10,000 people gathered in Toronto to support trade unionists who had been jailed for the -crime" of striking to gain a nine-hour working day.  By May 1st, 1886 workers in Chicago had organized a strike to demand an eight hour work day which led to the infamous Haymarket Riot, and the deaths of several workers. 

Three years later in Paris May Day was declared the International Day of the Worker in commemoration.  The day is now seen as an opportunity to celebrate workers rights, international solidarity, and a vision for a better world.

To celebrate May Day, HSAs Committee for Equality and Social Action has developed several stickers to celebrate union victories.   Please contact your steward if youd like some stickers for display.

There may also be events in your community organized by your local labour council.  Contact information for your council can be found at http://pacific.canadianlabour.ca/index.php/labour_council_dir

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