Workers’ unions in the city are not pleased with the Haryana government’s decision not to observe Labour Day on May 1 and instead do so on Vishwakarma Day, a day after Diwali. Various unions held protest rallies in the city on Monday against the decision.
May 1 is observed as Labour Day or International Workers’ Day in many countries and has been a longstanding practice in India too.
However, Nayab Singh Saini, Haryana’s labour minister, had on April 27 announced in Chandigarh that the state government would not observe Majdoor Diwas (workers’ day) on May 1 and instead do so on Vishwakarma Day.
Representatives of various trade and workers’ unions have censured the government’s decision and said they will not accept the change.
Among the unions that held a protest in the city on Monday, the Maruti Udyog Kamgar held a procession at Sector 18 holding placards and distributing pamphlets among workers censuring the state government’s decision.
“We are not happy with the government’s decision. Irrespective of the decision, we have decided to continue with our procession to pay homage to the martyrs who died in Chicago in 1886 (the Haymarket affair) and have distributed pamphlets. Labour Day is an important day for us and we cannot celebrate it on any other day,” said Kuldeep Janghu, general secretary of the union.
The Indian national trade union Congress (Intuc) also held a procession on Monday evening that started at the Intuc office at Kaman Sarai and went all the way up to Sohna Chowk. Around 700 union members and workers participated in the procession, protesting against the government move.
“The government said it would not celebrate Labour Day on May 1, but we do not accept their decision. There is a reason behind celebration of Labour Day on May 1. They cannot change it as per their convenience. The government has a hidden agenda behind this,” said Amit Yadav, state president, Intuc.