Labour Day is a national public holiday in Peru held every 1 May. It was first established in Peru in 1905, at which time also a group of new labour laws were instituted to better the lot of Peru’s working class.
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The original reforms of 1905 included such measures as allowing workers Sundays and holidays off, regulating the treatment of women and children who were in the workforce, and providing for how work related accidents would be paid for.
Today, some labour unions still press for further reforms every 1 May, but most of this activity is concentrated in Lima and on a limited scale. Most people just enjoy the spring weather and a nice break from the daily grind.
The origin of this worldwide holiday is the 4 May 1886 Haymarket Massacre during a labour protest in Chicago, USA. As the world industrialised in the mid to late 1800’s, the dismal working conditions in many factories led to a protest movement.
The Haymarket Massacre became a key moment in the movement, leading to the establishment of Labour Day, then called “International Workers Day”, to demand things like an 8-hour work day, safer working conditions, and increased pay.
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