May Day Rally 2021
We invite you all to join Divisional Secretary David Babineau at this Saturday’s May Day Rally in Parramatta as we celebrate the unions’ success in achieving an eight hour day!
Parramatta Rally and Family Fun Day
What: May Day March and Family Fun Day
Where: We will assemble at Prince Alfred Square in Parramatta, march to Willow Grove, then back to Prince Alfred Square.
When: The march kicks off at 10:30am and the Family Fun Day will start at 12pm.
How did May Day come about?
May Day commemorates those who fought and succeeded in ensuring decent and fair working conditions in Australia.
Prior to this, working days were unsustainably long, with some employees working 12 hours a day over six days each week.
Many Australian workers eventually saw the toll such a working system was taking on them, and on April 21, 1856, stonemasons at the University of Melbourne marched to Parliament House to push for an eight-hour working day. An agreement was eventually reached and Australian workers welcomed the new eight-hour day. A victory march was held on May 12 that year and each year after that.
In light of the labour movement’s successful push for an eight-hour day, a large May Day meeting was held in Melbourne in 1890. On May 1 that year a local newspaper made reference to that day as May Day.
The first May Day march occurred on May 1,1891 in Queensland. More than 1000 people participated in the march and carried banners.
Today, May Day remains one of the most important event in the union calendar. Unions and their members come together in solidarity as they remember those who came and fought before, celebrate the successes of the present, and fan the flames of enthusiasm for future action towards better conditions, rights and wages.