It all began with the terrible working condition in the late nineteenth century (western countries) when working 10 to 16 hours was quite common along with severe conditions causing injuries. The morality rate was high even in the age of twenties. The workers were attracted by the idea of socialism hence struggled hard to have rights and reduction of work time. The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (later became the American Federation of Labor), in Chicago, 1884 announced that “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1, 1886.”
In 1947 Pakistan became a member of International Labor Organization a United nations agency that promotes universally acknowledged social justice and worker’s right. In 1972 Pakistan observed its first labor Day (1st may, 1972) contributing in old age benefit schemes and worker welfare fund while various articles and provisions exist in constitution regarding labor. Now it is celebrated with a public holiday, some seminars and parade.
However, for many the idea and celebration for their rights and benefits is still alien. The condition of labor might be improving but not bettering at least for lower working class whom definitely didn’t get the 8 hour working privilege and can’t afford a day off. These worker have formed their own work place by the side walks on road accompanied by burning sunlight most of the day, hoping somebody would need cheap labor. Again, pointing finger at the incompetent administration while sitting on a couch with probably a chilled lassi.