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Dhaka, Bangladesh: A demonstrator wears chains around his neck as several organisations take part in rallies in the city marking May Day Photograph: EPA

Historic May Day observed

WT24 Desk

The historic May Day was observed today in the country like elsewhere across the world through various programmes with a pledge to establish the rights of workers, Agencies report.

The theme of day this year was “Build Workers-Owners Unity, Take Oath for Development”.

Different government and socio-cultural organisations, political parties, worker groups and trade unions, and professional bodies took elaborate programmes, including rallies and discussions, to mark the day.

President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina extended their greetings to all working people of the world, including Bangladesh, wishing success of all programmes on the occasion of the historic day.

On the occasion, Labour Building (Srama Bhaban), Bangabandhu International Conference Centre and different street islands of the capital were decorated with banners, festoons and placards.

Like the previous years, the Labour and Employment Ministry has drawn up two-day programmes to observe the day at the state level.

A colourful procession was brought out today from Dainik Bangla crossing at 7 am and ended in front of the National Press Club on Topkhana Road after parading different thoroughfares via Rajuk Avenue, Bangabandhu Avenue, Zero Point and Jatiya Press Club.

State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian inaugurated the procession.

Earlier, former Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, director general of Labour Department AKM Mizanur Rahman and Awami League Labour Affairs secretary Habibur Rahman Siraj, among others, spoke at a rally with Secretary-in-Charge of Labour and Employment Ministry Ummul Hasna in the chair.

Jatiya Sramik League arranged a rally at Awami League Bangabandhu Avenue office here. Awami League acting general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif and Jatiya Sramik League president Shukkur Mahmud, among others, spoke at the rally.

The other political parties and labour bodies, which took various porgrammes, included: Bangladesh Jatiya Sramik League, Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal, Jatiya Sramik Jote, Trade Union Kendra, Jatiya Party, Workers Party of Bangladesh, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Sramik Union, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), Gano Forum, National Awami Party and different garments organisations.

Besides, different social organisations and rights bodies arranged various programmes, including processions and rallies, in the capital.

The day was a public holiday. All public and private offices, courts, banks, mills and factories remained closed.

Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Bangladesh Betar and other private sector television channels and radio stations aired special programmes marking the day. National dailies published special supplements commemorating the day.

The May Day is being observed across the globe since 1886 commemorating the supreme sacrifices of the workers at Hay Market, Chicago, in the USA, for eight-hour working day and upholding the rights of the workers.

On May 1, 1886, 10 workers were killed when police opened fire on a demonstration in the US city of Chicago near Hay Market demanding an eight-hour working day instead of a 12-hour shift.

On the height of agitation, the authorities had to accept the workers’ demand and the eight-hour day has been introduced universally.

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