News

Large turnouts at Labour Day marches

JOB security fears in Queensland's public sector have manifested in "larger than usual" Labour Day turnouts across the state.

As public servants sit on tenterhooks amid the LNP's plans to axe up to 30,000 staff on temporary contracts, Together secretary Alex Scott said members had a strong desire to have a voice at this year's rallies.

"We had a larger than usual turnout in Brisbane, but this has been reflected in various regional locations over the weekend - in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton today and at Toowoomba, Ipswich and Bundaberg on Saturday," he said.

"It's an indication of the concerns in the public sector and a strong desire to have a voice in the changes currently occurring.

"It is bigger than the past couple of years but also, generally, union membership is on the rise in private and public sectors.

"There is a good feeling at today's march but there's certainly, with more than 30,000 of the state's 250,000 public servants on temporary contracts, a high level of concern about what that will mean, especially for people providing services at hospitals and schools.

"They want to serve the people of Queensland and they want to make sure the changes don't adversely affect their ability to deliver quality services to the Queensland community.

"We've seen significant growth in the past couple of years in public sector employment numbers, an extra 36,000 public sector workers in school and hospital systems.

"Growth in public sectors is linked to quality of services for Queensland which is what's really concerning our members.

"It's not just about job security but about going backwards in the quality of our hospital services and the education of our children."

In Central Queensland, hundreds celebrated worker victories, even as the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union remained locked in battle with mining giants.

CFMEU district president Stephen Smyth has been in the trenches pushing the union's fight against the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance which, on Thursday, will shut down its Norwich Park mine near Dysart.

From the Blackwater Labour Day march, Mr Smyth said the public holiday was the most important day of the year "for any worker, especially a union worker".

"It is great to be in a position where you work for workers' interests," he said.

"It was very well attended here in Blackwater by all the unions in town."

Brisbane Labour Day March chief marshall Tom Schulz said he estimated there were between 20,000 and 25,000 people in this year's march.

He said the 32 unions took more than 90 minutes to walk the route from the city to the exhibition showgrounds at Bowen Hills because of the number of people involved.

"This must be up there with some of the biggest crowds we've ever had," he said.

"Whether it's job security, cost of living, their future or a change of government, people are out today."

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released last month showed the number of trade union members in Australia increased by almost 50,000 in a year, but the proportion of the workforce remained steady at 18%.

The proportion of public sector employees in unions was 43% while private sector employees was 13%.

Topics:  labour day unions


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Heatwave fatalities? Ambos' warn of heat stress danger

As the heatwave strikes, make sure you keep cool.

PARAMEDICS fear the looming Queensland heatwave could kill

HEATWAVE: Towns to be scorched as temps pass 40°C

SUMMER is going to arrive at full force this week,

Local Partners

Coolum to rally against community centre move

RESIDENTS against the relocation of the Coolum Community Centre will bring their placards and rally at the Coolum Civic Centre this afternoon.

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Countdown to Woodford Folk Festival begins

ECONOMIC BOON: Woodford Folk Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  Photo Contributed

The first larger-than-life inhabitants have stepped into Woodfordia

'I need to do what I can': 65km walk for cancer patient

Karlee Robinson is walking from Caloundra to Noosa for her cousin Aaron Parker, who has terminal brain cancer.

What do you do when someone you love has terminal brain cancer?

MOVIE REVIEW: Bad Santa 2

Billy Bob Thornton and Brett Kelly in a scene from Bad Santa 2.

NAUGHTY Santa sequel falls flat.

Coldplay bathes Brisbane fans in sea of colour

Chris Martin, lead singer of British rock band Coldplay, performs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Coldplay are in Australia for a five-show tour. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Frontman Chris Martin drapes himself in Australian flag

Sia, Keith Urban top Aussie Grammy nominations

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban at the 50th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards

Beyonce dominates with nine nods for 2017 Grammy Awards

New gallery connects humanity and nature

One of Craig Parry's amazing images to be shown at the gallery.

Well known photographer to display one metre images

Hailey Baldwin: I don't understand Taylor Swift's squad

Hailey Baldwin has taken a quick stab at Taylor Swift and co.

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

Council opens up on 'secret' private development companies

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!