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Labour Day (May Day) Holiday

We’ve had a few public holidays recently and the next one to come up will be Labour Day on 1st May.  So… what is Labour Day?  We know it’s a holiday, but why?

Labour Day in Australia is a day to commemorate the work done by people over 100 years ago who wanted shorter working days.  In the past, people worked around 10 – 12 hours per day, 6 days a week.  Because of this, groups of workers got together and organised unions.  These unions pushed for an 8-hour work day for all workers.  Eventually in 1948, the 6-day work week was also reduced to the 5-day work week.

There are often marches in cities to commemorate Labour Day.  In Queensland and the Northern Territory, Labour Day is on the first Monday of May.  However, in other parts of Australia it is commemorated on different dates.