Australians Celebrate Eight-Hours Day
The first march for an eight-hour day by the labor movement in Australia occurred in Melbourne in April, 1856. Stonemasons and building workers on building sites 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. To commemorate this achievement, Australians celebrate Eight-Hours Day, an equivalent to America’s Labor Day, a day off from work highlighted by family outings, picnics and games such as Tug-Of-War.
On January 18, 1915 fifteen men of the Waterside Workers Team won the Tug-of-War competition, held in Launceston, Tasmania, on Eight-Hours Day and posed for this picture. Eleven of the men are wearing sport uniforms, the other four are dressed in suits, one with a towel over his left shoulder.