Today in Labour History
Festive Concert for the 8-Hour Workday
The diamond workers' union (ANDB), led by Henri Polak, was the first to institute the 8-hour workday, which was introduced in the diamond industry in 1911. The diamond workers celebrated their 8-hour day very elaborately in October 1911. The buildings of the ANDB and the diamond factories were decorated with flowers and the union organized cultural meetings. On 3 and 4 October the diamond workers were welcomed in the banquet hall of the Amsterdam zoo to listen to songs by Wagner, Brahms, and Beethoven. For safety's sake visitors "are urgently but politely requested to stay seated till the end of the performance."