Achieving the 8 hour day

Any significant reduction in working hours in the unregulated labour market of South Australia had to be won workplace by workplace, industry by industry.

Achievements were celebrated with dinners and processions where floats, union banners, badges and ribbons proclaimed the ‘888’ – 8 hours labour, 8 hours rest, 8 hours recreation – goal for all workers. The first 8 Hour Day holiday was granted by the government in 1882 and celebrated the following year on 19 September. In 1900 the first of September became the official 8 Hour Day, now the Labour Day holiday in South Australia.

This ribbon was probably worn by a member of the Eight Hour Day Celebration Committee (1883-1910).

History Trust of South Australia, HT 2014.958