Labour Day in Madagascar is celebrated every 1 May, as it is in much of the rest of the world. This is a holiday to celebrate the contributions of workers to the economy and society, and also a time to highlight where progress still needs to be made towards fair and safe working conditions.
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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.
Today in Madagascar, many rights are enjoyed but further progress still needs to be made. Madagascar remains a poor country, but the economy is steadily improving and diversifying, which is helping workers to attain to a higher standard of living.