Importance of Labour Day in Australia

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Importance of Labour Day in Australia

Originally called Eight Hours Day, Labour Day is held in honour of working people. It celebrates the achievements of organised labour on behalf of the worker to bring about the 8-hour day in the late 1850s.

The first march for an eight-hour day by the labour movement occurred in Melbourne on the 21st of April, 1856. On this day stonemasons and building workers on building sites around Melbourne stopped work and marched from the University of Melbourne to Parliament House to achieve an eight-hour day. Their direct action protest was a success, and they are noted as being among the first organised workers in the world to achieve an 8-hour day, with no loss of pay.

The Labour Day public holiday is fixed by the various state and territory governments, and so varies considerably. In Western Australia, Labour Day is the first Monday in March, while in the Northern Territory, it is called May Day and occurs on the first Monday in May. It is the first Monday in October in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia and, since 2013, Queensland.

In both Victoria and Tasmania, it is the second Monday in March. Being in summer its perfect for people in Victoria to enjoy this long weekend with family and friends.

With the growing demand and scant supply of employees in the Victorian IT industry, current employees have been burdened with more pressure in the workplace. Hence, a long weekend for Victorian IT workers seems like a deserved break.

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