The world is all set to celebrate another International Workers’ Day as May 1 is approaching. Several decades have passed since the nations started acknowledging the efforts of workers by designating a special day to them. But, it seems that workers of the world still need to go a long way to get their rights recognized. As, the countries around the globe celebrate the labor day May 1, in 2018, there is a need to know what are the challenges that workers of modern time are facing.
The industrialization is no longer a new phenomenon, labors are already working 8 hours a day, and they are also entitled to receive health benefits, bonuses and other such facilities from their employers. What is the purpose of celebrating Labor Day May 1 as International Workers’ Day, even in 2018, if the life of the worker is no longer harsh as it used to be a few centuries back?
Let’s take a look at the history of International Workers Day and issues the labors of modern times are facing.
A Background of Labor Day May 1
Apart from the obvious suffering of the workers of the world, there were a number of events that lead to the birth of International Workers Day. But, most significant and conclusive of those events was the blast at Chicago’s Haymarket Square on May 4, 1886, when workers were on strike to demand the right to work for 8 hours of the day. That was the time when labors had to work for 16 hours of a day.
Later socialists, communists and other such organizations started celebrating Labor Day on May Day, which falls on May 1.
May Day is a festival celebrated in Northern Hemisphere of the world to mark the arrival of spring.
The suffering of the Modern Day Workers
It is a misconception that slavery has ended in the world. It has just remained a part of the syllabus for history students and particular courses taught on events like Black History Month. The workers of the modern world are still facing the slavery, and the worst thing is that they are not even aware of it.
Let’s take a sneak peek at what the workers of modern day are suffering.
A Debt-Ridden Slavery
Debt-ridden slavery needs particular attention on this Labor Day May 1. The culture of taking debt and paying it with interest is considered the backbone of the modern-day economy. But this culture is nothing less than the strain on nerves for those who have to spend their entire lives for working hard only to pay loans and interests. Many times, people choose to work for the jobs they don’t even like or have to work hard to meet their obligations.
The issue with this debt-ridden slavery thing is that many people don’t even realize that they are a victim of it.
Bonded labor which has ill effects on society, is the one example of this kind of slavery.
Foxconn suicides are a typical example of workplace pressure in the modern world. Many workers face the pressure of working more than their capacity to meet the demands and handle the workload. Consequently, they become a victim of stress, depression, and anxiety that lead them to suicide.
High Pay Gap
Gender pay gap has remained a prominent issue on International Women’s Day 2018. It’s very common for women rights activists and NGOs to raise voice against the gender pay gap. But, what people don’t take into account is the gulf between the salary of a worker and a chief executive of an organization. The issue that labors in the world receive a lesser pay needs particular attention in the event of Labor Day May 1, in 2018.
The fact that executives in an organization get much more than lower level labor is the cause of rising economic inequality in the modern time. So, the workers of the modern-day need to raise their voice for a salary that their labor deserves.
Misappropriated Value of the Factors of Production
Labor is one of the essential factors of production, along with money and time. But, the issue is that modern capitalistic system only recognizes the worth of cash and hence rewards the one who supplies it into the production system. For example, in any business one who invests usually reaps the highest benefit, if the venture goes in profit, only because he/she has made an investment. But, workers who give their energy, skill, and talent get a small sum in the name of salary which is much lesser as compared to executives. On the occasion of Labor Day May 1, workers of the world need to ask for their rights according to their significance in factor or production.
It is a fact that conditions of workers have improved up to a large extent as compared to what they used to be after the industrial revolution. But, the fact that inequality is still a significant global risk proves that there is something wrong with the system that doesn’t reward enough for worker’s efforts.