(Persia Digest) – May 1st is International Workers’ Day. This day has always been coupled with marches and workers’ protests in Iran.

The Workers' House in Tehran saw the gathering of large numbers of laborers from various vocations today to protest not receiving a license to stage protests and claim their rights, such as insurance and incomes not matching the rising costs of living.

International Workers’ Day dates back to well over a hundred years ago.

On 4 May 1886, on the fourth day of strikes by workers in Chicago, police opened fire on them killing a number of strikers. There were also some casualties and four were executed at a later date. The strikers were asking for a shorter working week – from ten hours a day to eight hours a day. May 1st, 1886 had been designated as the day for reducing the working hours in the States, but it did not materialize. Subsequently, laborers went on strike in 1200 factories across the country. There were more strikers in Chicago, numbering around 90 thousand people.

Once the news of the killings and executions reached the rest of the world, commemorations were held in some areas and repeated the following years. Little by little, 1 May came to be known as International Workers’ Day.

In Iran, a protest by workers in Kermanshah, western Iran, was attacked by police on 1 May 1946, leaving 14 dead and 120 wounded. These were the first laborers to lose their lives on 1 May in Iran.

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