Labour Day (WA)

Labour Day (WA) Quick Facts

Hashtags#LabourDay
2020 Date2 March 2020
2021 Date1 March 2021
Labour Day (WA)

Labour Day History

Labour Day celebrates the acheivements of workers and their struggle for an 8-hour work day. On April 21, 1856, workers marched through the streets of Melbourne demanding an 8-hour working day. Their protest was ultimately successful and earned the Australians a reduced work day and more humane working conditions. The day serves to remember all of those who endured harsh working conditions and the battle to secure better working conditions.

Labour Day is an annual holiday in Western Australia. Labour Day in Western Australia is celebrated on the first Monday in March to remember the marches and movements dedicated to a obtaining a fair work week. In Western Australia, Labour Day was moved from its traditional May weekend into March following the Second World War in order to separate holidays. Elsewhere in the country, it is referred to as Eight Hours Day or as Labour Day but celebrated on differing dates.

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Labour Day Facts & Quotes

  • The first Labour Day parade in Australia was held on April 21, 1856 in Melbourne.
  • Prior to the uprisings, workers were required to work 10 to 12-hour days, six days a week. The orginal change still allowed for the six days but reduced the daily hours to 8.
  • Until 1948, Australians worked a 6 day week.
  • Australians are entitled to 12 months of unpaid parental leave. They can also request an additional 12 months of leave. Eligible Australian employees who are the primary carer of a newborn or adopted child get up to 18 weeks of leave paid at the national minimum wage.
  • Unlimited exploitation of cheap labour-power is the sole foundation of their power to compete. - Karl Marx

Labour Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Attend a Labour Day parade in Western Australia. Most local cities have a parade to commemorate the day's struggles.
  • Donate to a chartity that supports workers' rights in other countries. Australians are lucky enough to have 8-hour working days however in many countries, the reality is quite different. One such agency is the United Nations' ILO (International Labour Organization).
  • Enjoy the long weekend in the outdoor sunshine of the Australian summer. Aussies enjoy barbies (BBQs) and outdoor activities with their friends and families on this day.
  • Spread awareness about Australian Labour Day in Western Australia with the hastags #LabourDay, #AussieLabourDay, #WALabour and #8hourday.
  • Watch a documentary about the struggle for workers' rights and the prevalence of slavery around the globe. Some of our favourites are: The Story of OHSA, Brothers on the Line, Made in Bangladesh and Slavery: A Global Investigation.

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