The First May Day
In the late nineteenth century, the working classes were in constant struggle to gain the 8-hour workday. Working conditions were severe and it was quite common to work 10-to-16-hours a day in unsafe conditions and in heavily underpaid jobs. Death and injury were commonplace at many workplaces. As early as the 1860’s, working people started agitating to shorten the workday without a cut in pay. This movement started in Australia, and gradually spread elsewhere.