Labor Day In Algeria

Labor Day is celebrated every year around the world on 1st May in honor of working men and women. It is also called International Worker’s Day and it’s date was decided on 4 may, 1884 in Chicago by the Organization of labor and social parties (Second International) to mark the event of Haymarket massacre/affair – a peaceful protest by the workers against the police for killing the laborers the previous day but the protest ended with fire, gunmen, bombing and chaos. The Day originated from here as the protest was all about the eight-hour working day movement. Workers demanded eight hours of work, eight hours of recreation and eight hours of rest. According to the historians the idea of Labor Day was deduced by Peter McGuire, who was the cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. His idea was that a day should be dedicated to the Labor in order to show their unity with the working class. Before Labor Day, May Day (the first day of May) was celebrated to mark the start of the summer.

The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City in 1884. United States and Canada celebrated Labor Day in 1894, Labor Day was by then a federal holiday in both regions. Although, the United Sates commemorate Labor Day on the first Monday of September as they thought it occurred between Independence Day and Thanksgiving but in Algeria it is celebrated on the 1st May since 1962 as a paid bank holiday to pay tribute to the laborers. Banks, schools, business and government offices are closed on Labor Day.

Algerian Labor Union

Algeria, before its independence in 1962 was ruled by the French. The Labor Union in Algeria was created in 1867 but it was for the European Workers in Algeria not for the Algerian Labor. In 1954, the people of Algeria tried to elect some Algerian members in the Labor Union in order to protect the rights of the Algerian workers but after six months the Labor Union was immobilized when the Algerian War of Independence broke out.

The General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA) merged with another Trade Union in 1956 but the Trade Union took control over the Algerian Labor in France. The UGTA was founded by the FLN (National Liberation Front), the political body that focused the people of Algeria towards the war of independence against France. The UGTA was a strong weapon in the independence war rather than restoring the rights of the Algerian workers at that time, but after Independence it played its political and economic roles side by side. The first Congress of the Algerian Worker Confederation took place from 17 to 19 January in 1963 after independence.

In 2002, two-thirds of the Algerian Labor was unionized. In 2001, the approximate labor force was 9.4 million. The government hired around 29% of the work force in 1996, of which 25% were employed in the agricultural sector. In 2001 about 34% of the work force was jobless.

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