International Labour Day 2020

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News:May 1 is observed as the International Labour Day in order to celebrate the labours and the working class.

Facts:

  • The Labour Day was designated on this day in the memory of the Haymarket affair of 1886 in Chicago, USA.
  • Haymarket Affair:It was a rally in support of workers demanding an eight-hour workday.This resulted in a violent clash with the police leading to severe casualties.Those who died were hailed as Haymarket Martyrs.
  • In India, the first celebration of the Labour Day was organised in Madras (now Chennai) by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan on May 1,1923.

Additional Facts:

Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan:It was a political party founded by Singaravelu Chettiar on May 1st,1923.It was also the first occasion in India during which the red flag was used.

Role of Ambedkar in Workers Rights:

  • Round Table Conference: Ambedkar as a representative of Depressed Classes pleaded for living wages, decent working conditions and the freedom of peasants from the clutches of cruel landlords.
  • Independent Labour Party(ILP):It was founded  in 1936 with an aim to meet the needs and grievances of the landless, poor tenants, agriculturists, and workers.
  • As a member of Bombay Legislative assembly in 1937:
    • He introduced a bill to abolish the Khoti system of land tenure in Konkan. 
    • He opposed the introduction of the Industrial Disputes Bill, 1937 because it removed the workers’ right to strike.
    • As a Labour member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council from 1942 to 1946 ,he piloted and introduced measures for labour welfare by laying the foundation for the basic structure for the government’s labour policy.
    • He empowered women workers with maternity benefits through the Mines Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 1943.

Khoti System:It is a form of land revenue arrangement prevalent in the Konkan region during the British Empire.Under this, the government appointed middlemen called “khots” to collect tax from the farmers.However,the khots became too powerful and brutally exploited farmers to collect land revenues for the empire.