Cape Verde celebrates the accomplishments of its workers every Labour Day on 1 May, along with most other countries of the world. Labour Day is also a time for labour union rallies and for discussions on various labour related issues of national or local importance.
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But for most people in Cape Verde, Labour Day means one thing: a day off work to spend at home with family or at the beach. There are not many festivities on Labour Day, so it is simply a day off from work to spend at home, shopping or out in nature.
The origin of the 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.