2012 Media Releases
Labour Day march celebrates unions delivering for Queensland
Thousands celebrating Labour Day across the state shows continuing strong community support for unions as they fight for a ‘fair go’ for Queenslanders.
|MEDIA WRAP FROM LABOUR DAY|
More than 25,000 people are expected at marches and activities in 13 centres over the weekend.
Queensland Council of Unions President John Battams said the strong turnouts were also in recognition of the gains that unions have made for wider society.
“Paid maternity leave came in from 1 January this year. Young families now have some financial breathing space in the important early months of their child’s life.
“And at the other end of the scale, older workers will be retiring with superannuation that will ensure a better life for them instead of relying only on a government pension,” he said.
“Following a long-running union campaign transport companies must now pay truckies safe rates so they don’t have to take risks on the road just to make a living. That will mean safer roads for all who use them.
“Earlier this year the federal government finally agreed to ensure that fair and decent wages are paid to workers – mostly female - in the community sector. Now there will be some financial security and certainty for those who look after the most vulnerable in our community,” he said.
QCU research shows that most Queenslanders agree that unions defend workers’ rights and fight against unfairness in the workplace.
More than 60% of Queenslanders also agree that defending the ‘fair go’ is a core value of unions.
“People realise that this value is central to their way of life and they recognise how unions fight to maintain the ‘fair go’,” he said.
“The challenge for unions into the future is connecting the respect for this value to rebuilding membership in unions.”
Labour Day celebrations in Queensland are regarded the best-attended in Australia.
“We expect more than 15,000 at today’s march in Brisbane,” Mr Battams said.
“That’s a great endorsement of the support that members show for their unions.
“The continued strength of the union movement demonstrates that strong, committed people with a definite goal in mind can collectively achieve incredible things for their community.”
The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union is leading marches in Queensland this year, in recognition of its 160th year of existence.
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