We need to band together and lobby the government to make May 1 - International Workers Day - a national public holiday similar to many parts of the rest of Europe.
That was the message as protests and demos took place around the nation today with other events planned over the next few days.
May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries, including most of Europe, and is unofficially celebrated across the world.
The nearest Britain has is the first Monday in May introduced by then employment secretary Michael Foot in 1978.
London May Day Organising Committee organiser Roger Sutton said: "Obviously we support the May 1 public holiday idea totally.
"I've been briefing journalists from around the world today and they are absolutely staggered we don't have it as a public holiday.
"I'm sure many unions still have it as a policy - we should review this and take it forward."
Regional secretary for Yorkshire and the Humber TUC Bill Adams said: "May Day has been celebrated in Britain since the 1880s.
"It's the day when trade unionists around the world celebrate their achievements.
"The day should be declared a public holiday."
Policy officer for Northern TUC Neil Foster said: "Every other day of the year increasingly seems like 'international capitalists day.'
"So it's important to stand up on May Day and point out what trade unions and organised working people have achieved around the world.
"We have a good story to tell the next generation. It was the unions that ensured the weekend, paid annual leave, safety at work laws and maternity and paternity rights and more.
"Celebrating May Day is especially important since workers in Britain still have some of the fewest bank holidays in Europe.
"This is the 21st century.
"We really shouldn't have to wait for royal events to occur for an additional day off, should we?"
While the London march took place today, rallies in Cardiff, Dundee and Edinburgh will all be held this Saturday.
For information about events in your area go to www.tuc.org.uk
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