How many of us know that V. David's was the MAIN reason for us to have Labour Day as a public holiday?
Making the government acknowledge Labour Day as a public holiday was an arduous endeavor for David. To our surprise, he never gave up since he was a very committed trade unionist.
On May 20, 1972 - the 1st of May was officially proclaimed as a public holiday after numerous disputes and conflicts with the country's then-Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman at Kuala Lumpur's Dewan Belia.
David founded the Selangor Mill Workers Union (SMWU) in 1953 and enrolled in his studies at the University of Louisville, US where he studied economics and politics. Upon the National Union of Factory and General Workers merged with the SMWU, he was appointed as the leader.
Having said that, he was so staunchly committed to trade unionism that it earned him the nickname "King David" both locally and internationally. David had an unmatched reputation that his fellow labor activists fully acknowledged.
When David was an executive board member of the International Transport Federation and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, he gave the Malaysian labour movement tremendous joy. In the vicinity of International Labor Organization (ILO) meetings in Geneva, he addressed it for the sake of Malaysian workers.
Early in the 1970s, David was crucial in establishing the Workers Institute of Technology in Port Klang. Over the years, this institution gave thousands of workers' children educational opportunities.
Today we remember David, a beloved friend and contributor to our community, and we reflect on the 18 years that have passed since his passing. His fight for labour rights will never be forgotten, and we are thankful for his dedication to ensuring that all workers have the right to a fair and just workplace.
Image Credit / Source: FMT
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