The True Values of Labor Day

Labor Day is around the corner! Here at Cloud Insurance, we would like to commemorate this occasion by sharing what Labor Day means to us and why we believe in its values.

Labor day is a public holiday held in honor of people who work. It acknowledges the contribution of all working people, across all positions, for their contributions to the economy.

As proud employers who believe in celebrating our employees, we’d like to dive a little bit into this day of festivities to understand its history, acknowledge its importance, and celebrate its mission.

The history of Labor Day

By the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution was in full force in America and Canada. However, there were no strict labor laws protecting the rights of workers, leading many workers to be exploited. 

Sweatshop workers were forced to work in small, crowded spaces where they were not even allowed to talk to each other without being punished. Many laborers in mines, factories, railroads, and mills were working 72-hour weeks, which works out to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. Worse, even children were being exploited as cheap laborers who were usually too scared to kick up a fuss or object.

Needless to say, workers were unhappy with these conditions and it sparked a revolution. The labor movement rose up amongst the people, and by the 1860s and 1870s, countless organized strikes and rallies had been organized across America and Canada.

1944 Norwegian ship worker

The workers’ demands were simple. They wanted shorter working hours. They wanted better working conditions. They wanted higher wages. And they wanted recognition for their work. In essence, they were simply asking for dignity; a basic human right.

With these aspirations at heart, Peter McGuire, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), introduced the idea of Labor Day which called for an 8-hour workday, 5 days a week. In tandem, The National Labor Union submitted a request for Congress to pass a law mandating the eight-hour workday in 1866.

While lawmakers stalled their decision, public support for the change increased. After countless demonstrations of workers demanding their rights, oftentimes with many clashes occurring between the protesters and the police, the workers finally got what they were fighting for.

In 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of America, issued a proclamation that government employees are guaranteed an eight-hour workday. This decision further encouraged private-sector workers to continue fighting for the same rights.

In 1887, Oregon became the first state to make Labor Day an official holiday that commemorates the new 8-hour workday and acknowledges the contributions of laborers. Other states followed soon after and by 1894 it became a national holiday in America and Canada.

The first Monday in September was declared to be the official Labor Day holiday for workers in America while Canada appointed the first Monday in October.

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Labor Day, Winnipeg 1906

How Labor Day is celebrated around the world

The concept of Labor Day began making waves across the world. The holiday was adopted by many other countries. 

In Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia, Labor Day is also known as “May Day” or “International Workers Day”. In total, over 160 countries have acknowledged Labor Day as a public holiday that acknowledges workers across the globe.

However, most countries outside of America and Canada chose May 1st as the date for this holiday. Today, it’s interesting to see how Labor Day is celebrated differently around the world. 

In England, Labor Day celebrations usually include Morris dancing, a traditional English dance known for its rhythmic stepping and costumes that have bells attached. 

In Italy, Labor Day is also known locally as La Festa dei Lavoratori. The celebration is marked with the annual Concerto del Primo Maggio in Rome. The concert is usually attended by over half a million people!

The government of Sri Lanka holds official Labor Day celebrations in major towns and cities. The largest celebration is held in the capital, Colombo. Party leaders from the government would often be seen greeting the crowds while many parties would also decorate their vehicles.

Celebrating the values of Labor Day

For us here at Cloud Insurance, Labor Day is not strictly a black-and-white 8-hour working day rule. Rather, we see Labor Day for the values it represents.

Back during the first labor movement, people were fighting for a revolution—a revolution that acknowledges a workers right to better working hours, better working conditions, better pay, and better recognition. 

It is clear that the world has evolved a lot since the 19th century, and so have ideal working conditions. Today, we have remote working, hybrid working, and flexible working hours that push the envelope—just like how the protestors of the first labor movement pushed the envelope.

Holding the true values of Labor Day at heart, we at Cloud Insurance are proud to evolve with the times while still holding true to the values of Labor Day. This is why we offer unique and flexible benefits to all our employees.

The perks we honour at Cloud Insurance

Cloud Insurance cares for the total wellbeing of our employees. We understand that humans are holistic beings that need to be cared for physically, mentally, and emotionally. That’s why we believe in supporting all our employees to achieve a fulfilling work-life balance as well as helping them to reach their full potential.

In order to live by these values, here are the main perks we offer to all employees at Cloud Insurance:

  • Free lunch: Enjoy a free catered lunch with your colleagues, every day. 
  • Flexible working hours: Time is precious, make it count. Morning person or night owl, we accommodate for all types of working styles. 
  • Free coffee/tea: Freeflow caffeine fix to get you started and keep you going.
  • Near public transit: Our office is easy to access and is a treehugger friendly workplace.
  • Social gatherings: All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. We organize regular social gatherings and games so you can hang out and have fun with your colleagues.
  • Free office snacks: Peckish after lunch? We’ve got your back with soft drinks, treats, and fruits. 
  • Equity package: Want to be a partner? We offer an employee equity package. 
  • Pension plan: We promise to take care of you even when you’re old and wrinkly. 
  • Maternity and paternity leave: Kids are the future. Go spend time with them.
  • Courses: We want you to grow. We’ll give you courses to upskill and contribute to your career development.
  • Internet compensation: Working from home or remotely? We’ve got your internet bills covered.
  • Travel and accommodation: If you’re a remote worker, we’ll cover your travel expenses when you need to visit the company headquarters in Oslo.

Join the team & enjoy the perks!

Are you interested in joining a startup where you can leave an impact and build your career?

Does it excite you to be part of a mission to transform one of the most complicated industries out there and make it more innovative, friendly, and accessible? (It will be super fun, we promise!)

Do you want to be part of a space where you’ll have lots of opportunities to learn, grow, and enjoy outstanding projects?

Then check out the careers and current vacancies available at Cloud Insurance. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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