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Home > News > 2019 > April > International Workers’ Day Memorial

International Workers’ Day Memorial

Observed on Sunday, 28 April International Workers’ Day Memorial is our opportunity to remember workers who have died, become ill or injured at work. 


The day allows the wider community to come together to honour these workers and for us to renew focus on preventing further workplace fatalities, illness or injury. 

Unions have been the significant driving force in winning recognition of the right to a safe workplace. 

As a result, workplace deaths have since halved over the last 15 years. 

Sadly, some employers still cut corners even when workers’ lives are at risk. 

“The best thing any worker and their workmates can do to keep safe at work is to stand up and speak out. But workers need to know their jobs are safe and they are protected when they come up against the power of an employer who doesn’t want to do the right thing.” - QCU General Secretary Ros McLennan  

Promoting safety through secure jobs and access to union representation 

General Secretary of Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) Ros McLennan said the most effective way of keeping workers safe is to ensure workers have secure jobs and access to union representation. 

That is why we need to change the rules: to deliver jobs workers can count on,” Ms McLennan said. 

“We need jobs that deliver the confidence for workers to stand up and speak out when safety at work is at risk.”

The Office of Industrial Relations reports that between March 2018 and February 2019 there were 39 confirmed work-related fatalities reported in Queensland, with an additional 15 under investigation. 

“Even one worker dying is one too many,” Ms McLennan said.

“With 30 Australian workers already killed to date as at 21 March 2019, unions will always campaign for safer workplace practices and laws – especially as the current LNP government has done all in its power to game the system against workers and their representatives.” 

Union members across our sector are not immune to workplace safety risks. 

Statistics show that teachers, along with police, health workers, fire fighters and defence personnel suffer the highest rates of work-related mental illness. 

Support Services 

The QCU has three services for Queensland workers to access support for work-related injuries. 

The Workers’ Compensation Information Service (ph. 1800 102 166) is a free service for workers, unions and community organisations navigating Queensland’s workers’ compensation system. 

The Workers’ Psychological Support Service (ph. 1800 370 732) is a free and confidential service for any Queensland worker experiencing work-related psychological injury. 

It connects workers to an experienced social worker and appropriate community agencies.

The Workplace Health & Safety Representative Resource Centre is another new service providing workplace health and safety representatives with the resources, training, and information they need to properly protect their work colleagues.

This service stems from a critical recommendation in the Tim Lyons review into Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. 

The Review said there was clear evidence of the important role Health and Safety representatives (HSRs) play in improving and maintaining safety within the workplace. 

We now have in place a state health and safety coordinator to ensure as many workplaces as possible have HSRs and to support HSRs to fulfil their role. 

Contact DamienM@qcu.asn.au for more information.

Church service to commemorate 

Our union and the wider community are invited to attend a church service to commemorate International Workers’ Day 2019. 

The service will be held from 10:30am on Monday, 29 April at Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, Stafford. 

The celebrant for this service will be Fr Denis Scanlan. 

While most members will be unable to attend, our union will organise a delegation to ensure we are represented at the ceremony. 

Full service details 

Time: 10:30am 

Date: Monday 29 April

Location: Queen of Apostles Catholic Church 

              70 Appleby Rd, Stafford. 

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.