Labour Day & May Day: members to call for broken laws to be changed
Members will celebrate the achievements of the union movement, and call for much needed change to Australia’s unfair industrial laws on Labour Day and May Day this year, as IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary Rebecca Sisson writes.
Labour Day, or May Day, has a long and significant history both in Australia and internationally.
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The antecedence of Labour Day in Australia stretches back to Barcaldine in 1891 where the Shearer’s Strike sought to stop the employment of non-union workers on lower rates of pay.
The Shearer’s Strike has had a profound impact on the industrial path that workers have travelled in the more than one hundred years that have since passed.
Labour Day stands as a testament to the industrial significance of events of 1891 and a determination to continue to protect and advance the rights of workers.
Change the rules
Unfortunately the issue of employers attempting to undermine the wages and conditions of employees is as problematic today as it was in 1891.
The rules are broken — employees are constrained by a set of industrial rules which do not provide the protections for workers that they should.
In the current industrial climate, never has the power of the collective been so important.
All too often employees are fighting to protect the wins they have already achieved.
On Labour Day and May Day this year our members will call for a change to the rules that currently obstruct protected action, have stagnated wage growth, and that have tipped the balance of power in favour of employers.
If you reflect on the most significant outcomes for IEUA-QNT members there is one common trend: higher levels of membership result in a more positive outcome.
Time and time again, a strong collective stand from members has shown to be the most effective way to deal with issues in our workplaces, sector and community.
There is power in union.
There is power in the collective.
Labour Day is another opportunity to demonstrate the power of the collective as we continue the fight on a range of industrial, professional and social issues.
We hope to see you there.