Labor Day 2017 and 2018
Labor Day in the Philippines (also known as “Araw ng Manggagawa” in Tagalog) is a public holiday celebrating the Filipino worker, the workers’ unions and is a chance to remember the hard-fought workers’ rights.
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It is also a day for unions to bring attention to current issues affecting workers. In 1886, unions in the United States were successful in demanding an eight-hour working day. In the Philippines, which was under United States colonial rule, workers organised a rally at the American Governor-General’s residence demanding fairer working conditions. This is officially recognised as the country’s first Labor Day. However, it wasn’t until after 1913 when eight-hour days, as well as other workers’ rights, were granted to the people.
Labor Day in the Philippines also shares much of its ethos with other Labor Day celebrations around the world.
Often many unions stage demonstrations at Malacañang (the former American-Governor’s residence, now Presidential palace) and big cities such as Manila, to bring attention to their grievances. Issues such as raising the minimum wage and inhumane working conditions continue to be brought before the government.
As it is a public holiday, many people have the day off work and choose to spend it with family and friends. For people who do work on Labor Day, they are entitled to double their normal pay. For those who work over eight hours, they are entitled to an extra 30% of their wages for every extra hour.