May Day observed
The historic May Day was observed in the country in a lackluster manner under the state of emergency that restricts open rallies of any kind of political and trade-union hues.
Like the previous May Day, there were no colorful May Day rallies or procession of industrial or transport workers in the capital, Dhaka, or in any industrial belts.
Trade unions, political parties and professional organisations held indoor discussions on the significance of May Day, expressing solidarity with the international labour movement for ensuring socio-economic rights of the working-class people.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed at a function marking the great May Day at Osmani Memorial Auditorium on Thursday urged the owners to ensure fair wages of workers, timely payment, well-defined working hours and safe and healthy working environment.
Witnesses said the street in the city gave almost a vacant look, with little traffic either.
It was a public holiday. A good number of city-dwellers thronged parks and amusement spots in the city.
May Day, also known as International Workers' Solidarity Day, commemorates the historic uprising of working people in Chicago, USA, at the height of a prolonged fight for eight-hour workday.
In 1884, the Federation of Organised Trade and Labor Unions passed a resolution stating that eight hours would constitute a legal day's work from and after May 1, 1886. And that was achieved with blood spilled in a vigorous movement in the American city of Chicago.
President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed issued separate messages on the occasion, wishing the workers at home and overseas all the best.
The president in his message said the contribution of the working-class people is undeniable to the socioeconomic development of the country. In the present-day world, the vast population will have to be deeply involved in production-oriented activities to attain national prosperity.
He called for improving worker-owner relations and congenial atmosphere in industry-worker management to uphold the significance of the May Day.
In a separate message, the chief adviser said that the role of the working-class people is immense in development, production and construction in a country. He said the future of the country is closely linked with the welfare of the toiling people and change in their destiny.
“The government,” he said, “is implementing effective measures to establish the basic rights of the working-class people, especially their just wages, professional skill and appropriate working condition as well as to improve the workers-owners relations.”