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Labour Day...What are we celebrating?

Today Monday 5th October is Labour Day. What are we celebrating? Do you know?...Labour Day commemorates the adoption of the 8 hour working day.

Before the 8 hour day Australian workers typically worked up to 14 hours a day, 6 days a week.

In the 1850s unions campaigned for fairer working conditions. On April 21st 1856 stonemasons and building workers in Melbourne stopped work and marched to Parliament to push for an 8 hour working day.

Agreement was reached and change was then enacted in 1856 in NSW; 1858 in Queensland; 1873 in South Australia; and 1874 in Tasmania.

Across Australia, Labour Day is celebrated as an annual public holiday. Its date varies because during the mid 19th century states and territories adopted the shorter days on different dates.

Whatever you are doing today - enjoy the day....And celebrate the workers who campaigned and struggled to ensure decent working conditions for us all, and who have paved the way for further changes in employment conditions (paid holidays, penalty rates, superannuation, personal and carers leave, and more).

The photo is of the Eight-hour march outside Parliament House in Spring Street, Melbourne.

HPG (Healthcare Professionals Group)
Sydney (02) 8877 8777
Melbourne (03) 9938 7100