Happy Labour/Canberra/Eight Hours Day

Labour Day in Australia is a public holiday on dates which vary between states and territories. It is the first Monday in October in the Australian Capital TerritoryNew South Wales and South Australia. In Victoria and Tasmania, it is the second Monday in March (though the latter calls it Eight Hours Day). In Western Australia, Labour Day is the first Monday in March. In the Northern Territory and Queensland it is called May Day and occurs on the first Monday in May.[1] It is on the fourth Monday of March in the territory of Christmas Island.

The first march for an eight-hour day by the labour movement occurred in Melbourne on 21 April 1856.[2] On this day stonemasons and building workers on building sites around Melbourne stopped work and marched from the University of Melbourne to Parliament House to achieve an eight-hour day. Their direct action protest was a success, and they are noted as being among the first organised workers in the world to achieve an 8-hour day, with no loss of pay.[3]

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