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Cameroon joins the world to celebrate Labour Day

Cameroon joins the international community today Monday to celebrate the 131st edition of Labour Day on May 1, 2017. The day is celebrated under the theme; “Social Dialogue, Economic Growth and National Cohesion”.

Labour Day is an annual public holiday that celebrates the eight-hour working day, a victory for workers in the mid-late 19th century.  The argument for the eight-hour day was based on the need for each person to have eight hours labour, eight hours recreation and eight hours rest.

History holds that in the early 19th century, most labourers worked 10- or 12-hour days for six days each week. The 1850s brought a strong push for better conditions. A significant part of the push began in 1855 in Sydney.

On 21 April 1856, in Melbourne, the stonemasons workers staged a well-organised protest. They downed tools and walked to Parliament House with other members of the building trade. Their fight was for an eight-hour day, effectively a 48-hour week to replace the 60-hour week. The government agreed to an eight-hour day for workers employed on public works, with no loss of pay.

In Cameroon, the day is celebrated by organizing match pass at ceremonial grounds in front of government and syndicate officials. Various companies decorate banners and flags using colours representing their different organizations. They also wear t-shirts and fabrics carrying messages of the day and their organization’s logos.

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