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October 23, 2017
Labour Day was originally a celebration of winning the eight-hour working day – something Kiwis were among the first to do thanks to worker activist Samuel Parnell in 1840. Workers and unions first celebrated Labour Day in New Zealand in October 1890, with many unionists and supporters parading in the main centres. Government employees were even given the day off to attend the parades and many businesses closed for at least part of the day.
The tradition has continued and we now celebrate the achievements of unions and working people every year on the fourth Monday of October. Enjoy the long weekend and reflect on what unions have done and what we can continue to do, together!