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Eight Hour Day

Melbourne Eight Hours Committee badge, 1916
In this Victoria, our dear land,
The first that dared be free,
To show the world what freedom meant
In new lands 'cross the sea
- Ode to the Eight Hours' Pioneers
Hamilton Mackinnon
April 21, 1896

2006 marks the 150th anniversary of the Eight Hour Day in Victoria. Action taken by stonemasons on 21 April 1856 led to the establishment and maintenance of the Eight Hour Day, recognised internationally as a world first.

The Eight Hour Day became a symbol of the rights of workers to organise to achieve their rights not only as workers, but as citizens in a democratic society.

The timing of this anniversary could not be more appropriate, given the emerging debate about contemporary work issues such as working hours and work/life balance.

Watch the video April 2006. Celebrate the 8 hour day by working an 8 hour day!