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



Outrage over photos of baby with drugs

Disturbing photos posted to Bundaberg Facebook page

Amputee wants to be given a chance at a job

TRY ME: Thomas Clayton wants a job and says he is finding it hard to get a chance because he has only one arm.

Man with one arm 'willing to give anything a go'

Storms are coming! What it means for your long weekend

Yes, it's going to affect your long weekend

Local Partners

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.