1886 is a LONG time ago!!!
Today - we are all able to work in a 9 to 6 regime, spend time with the family in the evening, demand extra pay in case we are asked to work beyond 6; all because these people fought against the established methods of employment, demanding the 8 hour job system!!!
The whole thing started when, in the year 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions set the govt a deadline of May 1 1886, to implement the 8 hour per day scheme. Since what they expected did not happen, the union went on a strike on this day that year. What followed was a long long ordeal - with the govt backed owners trying to suppress the legitimate demand of the working class and the wounded working class retaliating every time with more vigor. The whole thing lead to the acceptance of the 8 hour work per day rule.
To mark this success of the trade unions (or the working class in general), this day is being celebrated as the Workers Day throughout the world!!! Even though I have never been in a company with unions (I would never want to be in one of these so called trade unions of these days anyway!!!) - this achievement of them is by all means commendable or in fact salutable!!!