'What's May Day?'

'What's May Day?'

It’s thanks to the struggle of thousands of people over scores of years that we today have the privilege of  working eight hours a day and enjoy the benefits of our labour. Labour Day or May Day is a tribute to the sacrifices made by these people.   “There’s no hype around that day then why the need?” is the question that runs through and through. For them May Day is just another day that comes with the dawn and ends with the dusk.

Most of these new age sunrise companies don’t observe Labour Day and the few who do work on a restricted basis and expect their employees to apply leave in advance. It’s not like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day which is hyped. None of these young people have ever had the urge or the curiosity to read up on the significance of Labour Day or talk about it to people. Their companies too have no enthusiasm to let their employees in on details about May Day or even observe it.

 Deepthi Shankar, who works for JBA Infotech, wonders why the need for a separate day. “I have never had the eagerness to know about May Day and even the newspapers don’t carry too much information on it. While Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are hyped, this day goes unnoticed,” she says.
Mohammed Shoaib, Spheris India Pvt Limited thinks May Day is still relevant today. His company offers him an optional day off where the employees have to apply leave in advance. “Companies must make a holiday mandatory for all employees of BPOs. I think it’s still relevant today and it’s because of such a day that we have decent hours of work,” says Shoaib.

L Sebastian Tarao with Ocwen Solutions says that he accords a lot of importance to May Day and also respects people who have contributed to the success of the international labour movement. “In the company that I work for, May Day is not part of its holiday list, but we honour the day and give respect while we work,” says Sebastian.  He further adds that in his hometown in Manipur some office do give their employees a day off and some others go about their job as usual. “It’s a good thing to remember May Day but it should not hamper our daily life,” adds Sebastian.
Tulsi Suresh with Infedality is happy that she doesn’t have to work for 12 or 13 hours. “Thanks to May Day we have decent hours of work. It’s never a holiday for us but we are thankful that work is not stressful anymore,” she concludes.

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