Labor Day in Jamaica Date in the current year: May 23, 2016

Labor Day in Jamaica May 1 is reserved by many countries as Labor Day, but Jamaica annually celebrates this holiday on May 23. The date was chosen to commemorate the labor rebellion, that arouse in 1938.

Observation of Labor Day appeared in 1961, when Empire Day, celebrated on May 24, was abolished. Chief Minister of Jamaica Norman Washington Manley proposed to replace Empire Day with Labor Day with the commemorative celebrations held on May 23.

By 1938 Jamaican laborers were underpaid. This led to breaking out of several strikes across the country. The workers asked only for better wages. One of the prominent figures of the strikes was St. William Grant (St. presumably means "sergeant"). He is regarded as a person, who started the struggle of the working class in Jamaica and later entrusted Alexander Bustamante with the responsibility to take working class to the next level. Alexander Bustamante later was honored with a title National Hero of Jamaica and became the first prime minister. But St. William Grant's fate is unknown. He sank into obscurity and died in poverty. St. William Grant was not forgotten and he was awarded the Order of Distinction posthumously.

Remind me with Google Calendar


Public Holidays




labor day in jamaica, holidays in jamaica, labor rebellion, st william grant, alexander bustamante, public holiday