Labour Day celebrations bigger than ever: 125 years & #backinMay
Tens of thousands of unionists turned out for Labour Day / May Day celebrations as Queenslanders celebrated 125 years since the origins of Labour Day in Barcaldine and the return of the public holiday to its rightful place in May.
More than 20,000 union members in Brisbane marched proudly through city streets, with Queensland communities showing support for unions and their members and their shared values.
Marches, activities and family fun days were held in Bundaberg, Bowen, Cairns, Emu Park, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Mackay, Maryborough, Rockhampton, Thursday Island, Townsville and Toowoomba.
In Barcaldine, labour movement figures led a march to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the shearers’ strike, which led to the modern observance of Labour Day.
Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) General Secretary Ros McLennan said the achievements represented by Labour Day were significant in Queensland and Australia’s history, and it deserves its place in the state’s calendar.
Many celebrated the return of the public holiday with social media posts using the hashtag #backinMay
“These are all benefits fought and won for the wider community, including health and safety laws, universal health care, compulsory superannuation, paid maternity leave, fair wages and working conditions, and many other benefits," Ros said.
IEU members made a statement about the importance of resourcing quality education, and for members in Queensland Catholic schools, the need for employers to address the legitimate concerns raised by members as part of their ongoing 3Rs: Recognise, Respect, Reward campaign.
View photo highlights from Labour Day / May Day celebrations in the gallery below.