Local News

Labor groups to hold May Day rally in Durham

Posted May 1, 2012 4:01 a.m. EDT
Updated May 1, 2012 8:03 a.m. EDT

— Labor, religious and minority groups are celebrating May Day as the key moment in limiting the American working day to eight hours.

The groups are planning an arts festival, potluck dinner, march and rally in downtown Durham on Tuesday. The groups say their demands are demanding good jobs, living wages, the right to unionization, amnesty for immigrants, a halt to deportations, an end to police brutality, and public-sector jobs, budgets and services that "meet human needs."

Speakers include representatives from the North Carolina AFL-CIO, Compassion Ministry, Farm Labor Organizing Committee, All of Us NC, NC Dream Team, Black Workers for Justice and some Durham city workers.

The first day of May is celebrated in other parts of the world to honor work and workers. The May Day tradition got its start in the United States after the deadly Haymarket riot in 1886, which involved workers striking for a shorter work day.

America's end-of-summer Labor Day holiday was developed during the Cold War as an official government alternative to the labor movement's May Day rallies.