International Labour Day | May Day | Worker’s Day: May 1st

International Labour Day is in common parlance celebrated on 1st of May, every year. The day is celebrated with the objective of giving due recognition for the struggle and contribution of the working class.

Struggle Path:

International Workers’ Day is the big celebration on the world level and it is celebrated to commemorate the 4th of May of 1886, the Haymarket affair (Haymarket Massacre) in Chicago. It is the big event of that year when workers were on the general strike for their eight-hour workday and police were doing their job of dispersing the general public from the crowd. Suddenly, a bomb was thrown over the crowd by an unidentified person and then the police started firing over the workers and four demonstrators were killed.[1]

Recognition of May Day in India:

India witnessed its’ first International Labour’s Day in the Year 1923, in Madras by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan.

The red flag that popularly represents the working class was raised for the first time in India on this day.

Labour Laws in India:

In the wake of better and fair conditions for the workers, various laws were introduced for the protection and fair justice system.

Here is the list of a few Labour Laws in existence:

Labour Laws may be classified under the following heads:

  • Laws related to Industrial Relations such as:
  1.  Trade Unions Act, 1926
  2. Industrial Employment Standing Order Act, 1946.
  3. Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
  • Laws related to Wages such as:
  1. Payment of Wages Act, 1936
  2. Minimum Wages Act, 1948
  3. Payment of Bonus Act, 1965.
  4. Working Journalists (Fixation of Rates of Wages Act, 1958
  • Laws related to Working Hours, Conditions of Service and Employment such as:
  1. Factories Act, 1948.
  2. Mines Act, 1952.
  3. Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees’ (Conditions of Service and Misc. Provisions) Act, 1955.
  4. Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.
  5. Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961.
  6. Beedi & Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966.
  7. Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970.
  8. Sales Promotion Employees Act, 1976.
  9. Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979.
  10. Dock Workers (Safety, Health & Welfare) Act, 1986.
  11. Building & Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1996.
  12. Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996
  13. Cine-Workers and Cinema Theatre Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1981
  14. Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1948
  15. Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) (Inapplicability to Major Ports) Act, 1997
  16. Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993
  17. Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946
  18.  Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
  19. Plantation Labour Act, 1951
  20. Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005
  • Laws related to Equality and Empowerment of Women such as:
  1. Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
  2. Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
  • Laws related to Deprived and Disadvantaged Sections of the Society such as:
  1. Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976
  2. Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986
  • Laws related to Social Security such as:
  1. Employees Compensation Act, 1923.
  2. Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948.
  3. Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
  4. Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.
  5. Beedi Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1976
  6. Beedi Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1976
  7. Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981
  8. Fatal Accidents Act, 1855
  9. Iron Ore Mines, Manganese Ore Mines and Chrome Ore Mines Labour Welfare Cess Act, 1976
  10. Iron Ore Mines, Manganese Ore Mines and Chrome Ore Mines Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1976
  11. Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008

† Legal Editor, EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd.


Image Credits: Times of India

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