May first International workers day, commemorates the historic, just struggle of working people through out the world & is recognized in most countries by declaring holiday.
In the 19th century the working class was in constant struggle to gain the 8 hour work day, working conditions were severe & it was quite common to work 10 to 16 hours days in unsafe conditions. Death & injury were common at many work places & thousands of men woman & children were dying needlessly every year in the work place, with life expectancy as low as their early twenties in some Industries.
In 1880’s the battle for 8 hour day fought between the labour union members & business leaders & police. Chicago was the main center of the agitation & culminated in the “Haymarket” event (1886) in which police used excessive force resulting in deaths & injuries to many. At last the working class succeeded in getting their just demand of 8 hours day fulfilled after long historical struggle.
The change in India came late and Bodhisattva Dr Ambedkar’s contribution towards amelioration of working class are noteworthy. Bodhisattva Dr Ambedkar had clearly recognized the “right to strike” by the workers. He suggested tripartite tribunal system – workers, employees & government representative’s – to solve the industrial disputes & unrest. This is the mostly accepted widely practiced method of solving industrial problems in free India. In his capacity as a labour member of the viceroy’s council from 1942 to 1946, Dr Ambedkar was instrumental in bringing about several labour reforms including establishment of Employment Exchanges, long term plan for building up basic physical infra structure & maintained that labour depressed classes play an important role in the planned economic development of the country. Bodhisattva Dr Ambedkar also introduced Maternity benefit Bill during his tenure as labour minister in GGE Council.
In conclusion it can be safely assumed that the rights of workers (who are the producers of wealth & happiness to mankind) has to be respected. In this regard Bodhisattva Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar has done yeomen service to working class which will be forever remembered.
References: Wekipedia, History of Ambedkar and Ambedkar speaks By Narendra Jhadhav.
(Composed by: Chandrakanth Dandge, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org, From: Herndon, Washington, D.C., USA)