Eight hours for work
Eight hours for play
And eight hours for sleep excel.
On Labour Day we remember Samuel Duncan Parnell and his vision of a balanced life.
The origins of Labour Day can be traced back to the eight-hour working day movement that arose in New Zealand, in the newly founded Wellington colony in 1840, primarily because of carpenter Samuel Parnell's refusal to work more than eight hours a day. He encouraged other tradesman to also only work for eight hours a day and in October 1840 a workers' meeting passed a resolution supporting the idea.
The origins of Labour Day in Canada can be traced back to a printer's revolt in Toronto, where labourers tried to establish a 54-hour work week. At that time, any union activity was considered illegal and the organizers were jailed. Protest marches of over 10,000 workers were formed in response, which eventually led to Sir John A. Macdonald repealing the anti-union laws and arranging the release of the organizers as well.
New Zealand celebrates in October. Elsewhere, Labour Day is celebrated in May. Not Canada. When socialist delegates in Paris in 1889 appointed May 1 as the official International Labour Day the Government of Canada - fearing that allowing the proclamation to take hold in Canada might strengthen the socialist movement - selected a September date for Labour Day.
Labour Day, not just another day at the cottage.
~ This message is brought to you by the Quarry Committee for Continuing Education.
Have a great long weekend -- see you next Monday!