Labour Day celebrates the fair go

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Labour Day 2015 will celebrate the role unions play in ensuring a fair and decent society in Queensland.

Queensland Council of Unions President John Battams said the Queensland community had shown on 31 January that it did not support the divisive and regressive policies and actions of the state Newman LNP government.

“Queenslanders showed they wanted fair and decent workplace laws, integrity in government and public ownership of significant public assets,” he said.

“These are values reflected in the union movement, and I think that’s why union campaigns had such an impact in the election.

“Now Labour Day provides us with the opportunity to reflect upon the achievements of workers and their unions for our community,” Mr Battams said.

Queenslanders have celebrated Labour Day in May for more than 100 years — even when the Newman LNP Government moved the public holiday to October.

The Palaszczuk Labor government has committed to move the Labour Day public holiday back to May until 2016 but this year Labour Day activities will still be held throughout the weekend of May 2 and 3.

 “Labour Day recognises the vast majority of the community who go about their jobs with little or no recognition.  It shows that union values are community values. It’s all about getting a fair go,” Mr Battams said.

“We are expecting huge numbers across the state for Labour Day as Queenslanders celebrate a new direction in government,” Mr Battams said.

“The Newman LNP government arrogantly forged ahead with an ideological agenda and it refuses to stop and ask for directions from Queenslanders.”

In Queensland, this is the 124th year of observance of Labour Day, and it will again recognise achievements of the union movement for wider society, including health and safety laws, compulsory superannuation, paid maternity leave, fair wages and working conditions, and many other benefits for all of the community.

This year the Electrical Trades Union will lead the Brisbane march to mark its 100th year of existence. The QCU is also 130 years old this year.

“Unions have been around for well over 100 years because Australians identify with their core value of the fair go,” Mr Battams said.

Marches, activities and family fun days are also being held in Bundaberg, Bowen, Cairns, Emu Park, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Mackay, Maryborough, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, the Sunshine Coast Thursday Island, Townsville and Toowoomba.

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