Friday, May 1, 2009


Today, the majority of countries throughout the world celebrate a special day which has its origins in the Industrial Revolution. The terrible working hours and conditions back then had led to movements demanding for shorter working hours and better working environment. Changes especially in manufacturing and mining demanded the ordinary workers (including children and women) to slave over their jobs day in day out. There were no regulations stating the rights of the workers and in time, these workers felt that their welfare was not properly taken care of. Industrial nations, fathers and entrepreneurs were only interested in reaping the benefits stemming from the new technology and inventions without taking into consideration the welfare of their workers. Consequently, this had resulted trade unions to be formed to fight for the rights of the ordinary workers. It's quite hard to conceive that workers of that era sometimes had to work for 12 to 16 hours per day and in squalid surroundings too. Cinderella and Snow White were much, much luckier compared to these workers if you think about it since they could still sing and dance while doing their chores!. Of course, some of us still put in long hours at work but we should be thankful that nowadays we have better working hours, better working environment, better pay and better fringe benefits. We definitely have come a long way but we must not forget that there are still people in certain parts of this world who are still working the way the ordinary workers did 200 years ago. We must remember that there are children as young as 6 years old who are doing adult jobs and not doing what they are supposed to do : going to school. We must not ignore the fact that there are women who receive less pay compared to their male counterparts. The Industrial Revolution is now history and the world is seeing a new kind of revolution but for the most part, the basis of economy is still the same which is the pursuit of self-interest. In the process to pursue our own self-interest, we tend to forget that there are others who make our dreams possible. These are the workers without faces and without names. These are the hands who work invisibly behind the scene to make and build nations, companies and corporations. Let's not forget them and on this day, let's salute them and let prosperity be accessible to all and not just the selected few. Happy Labour Day to all!