Members call for broken rules to change at Labour Day and May Day rallies
Chants of “Change The Rules” echoed throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory over the Labour Day and May Day weekend, as IEUA-QNT members joined with thousands of union members calling for change to Australia’s broken industrial rules.
The massive turnout of union members across the state and territory showed that working people are ready to take action to change the rules – rules that have led to flat-lining wages, insecure work and an inability for workers to bargain effectively for improved working conditions.
IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary Rebecca Sisson said while Labour Day is a cause for celebration of the union movement and its achievements, members must form a united front to protect our wins in the face of the federal government and employers that are all too ready to dismantle hard-fought wages, conditions and agreements.
“No union and no education sector are immune from the consequences of these broken rules.
“We have seen serious attacks on employees in the non-government education sector and an attempt to create ‘second-tier’ teachers who would work more, for less.
“We have also seen employers attempting to tear up collective agreements and place workers on basic Award wages and conditions.
“We need to Change The Rules that have tipped the balance of power heavily in favour of employers and return a fair share of power to workers and their unions,” she said.
Ms Sisson said in the current industrial climate, the power of the collective has never been more important.
“All too often, employees are fighting to protect wins to working conditions they have already achieved.
“If you reflect on some of the significant recent achievements of IEUA-QNT members, such as superannuation co-contribution, paid domestic violence leave and the $101,000 classroom teacher salary in 2018, there is one common trend: strong union membership.
“There is power in union. There is power in the collective.”
During the Labour Day march in Brisbane, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that the state government would launch a Parliamentary inquiry into wage theft, in light of Fair Work Ombudsman inaction on an issue that affects thousands of Queensland workers.
Marches, activities and family fun days were held in Brisbane and other centres around the state including the Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg, Maryborough, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Townsville, Mackay and Cairns. Members in Alice Springs and Darwin also celebrated May Day over the long weekend.