Hello everyone it is Labour Day here in Australia, well in my part of Australia it is now I am going to share with you a little about labour day in Australia, it is also known as Eight Hour Day in Tasmania (Tassie) and May Day in the Northern Territory.
What is Labour Day well it is the day that commemorates the granting of the eight-hour working day for Australians. Now I think a lot of younger people take the eight-hour working day for granted, yes I know there are those who work 12 hour shifts but over all most people work an eight-hour day five or six days a week.
Of course it is a public holiday and its date caries across the states and territories, many people use the holiday as part of a long weekend where they can relax and spend time with friends and/or family, many like to just kick back and watch sport and have barbies.
In Western Australia it is observed on the first Monday in March and on the second Monday in March in Victoria and Tassie, in the Northern Territory it is held on the first Monday in May, thus why it is called May Day in the Northern Territory.
The history of Labour Day in Australia spans over a century, during the 1800's the working day was long and difficult with many working 12 hours or more six or seven days a week. It was in 1856 that the stonemasons at the University of Melbourne marched on Parliament House to push for and eight-hour working day. Eventually they managed to reach and agreement for a 48-hour working week and workers welcomed the new eight-hour day.
A victory march was held on the 12th May that year and each year after that, the new work regulations were recognised in New South Wales next followed by Queensland in 1858 and South Australia in 1873 and Tassie in 1874.
It was in 1879 that the Victorian Government made one further step towards better conditions for employees by proclaiming a paid public holiday that year.
Of course some people have to work on a public holiday such as Labour Day when this happens the person gets paid penalty rates which can be time and half or double time or double time and half this means say you are on $20 an hour if you got time and half you would be paid instead $30 an hour. So some people don't mind if they have to work on a public holiday also if you work on a weekend you are paid at a higher rate also.