We are all in need of a long weekend to enjoy what remains of the summer months, to relax, spend time with family or arranging a pre-Easter getaway but how did the long weekend or Labour Day come about?
The history of labour day spans over a century, being an important annual event that remembers those that struggled and succeeded to ensure decent and fair working conditions in Australia. During the mid to late 1800’s the working day was long and arduous with some employees working up to 12 hours a day, six days a week.
Many Australians saw the need for better working conditions. Did you know on 21st April 1856 stonemasons marched to Parliament house in Melbourne to push for an eight hour working day. After much negotiation an agreement was reached for a 48 hour working week with Australians welcoming the new 8 hour day. It is not surprising there was a victory march a few weeks later and subsequent years. Labour Day was moved in some parts of Australia from May to the second Monday in March after World War II.
We are all in need of some respite and family time this coming weekend, but take time to think of those who fought hard for a shorter working day for us all so that we can spend more time with our loved ones.