Each 1 May is Labour Day in Belize, as in the majority of other nations around the world. In Belize, it is also sometimes called International Workers Day or May Day.
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The origin of the holiday is the 4 May 1886 Haymarket Massacre during a labour protest in Chicago, USA. As the world industrialised in the mid to late 1800’s, the dismal working conditions in many factories led to a protest movement. The Haymarket Massacre became a key moment in the movement, leading to the establishment of Labour Day, then called “International Workers Day”, to demand things like an 8-hour work day, safer working conditions, and increased pay.
Since the 2011 labour laws amendment in Belize, there has been great progress in working conditions and workers’ rights, but there are still always some rallies and protests. Most people, however, just get a day off work or school and get outside to enjoy the weather.