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Home > News > 2017 > May > Record turnout at Labour Day / May Day celebrations

Record turnout at Labour Day / May Day celebrations

IMG_1975.jpgUnionists turned out in force over the Labour Day / May Day long weekend, with a record 30,000 marching in Brisbane alone.

Celebrations were held at many locations across Queensland and the Northern Territory including: Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Mackay, Maryborough, Ipswich, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville, Alice Springs and Darwin. See below for photo highlights from across Queensland and the Northern Territory.

For IEUA-QNT members, Labour Day / May Day was an opportunity to celebrate our union’s recent campaign successes – including last year’s Queensland Catholic sector negotiations which set a new wage benchmark for classroom teachers across the state – and set the agenda for future campaigns.

Members carried placards supporting our union’s recently-launched Fund Our Future campaign. The campaign calls on the federal government to permanently fund the Universal Access program, which ensures that all Australian children have access to 15 hours per week of early childhood education in the year before the commencement of school. 

Protecting workers against impending cuts to penalty rates was also a key theme for the celebrations. Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) Secretary Ros McLennan - who led the Brisbane march alongside Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Secretary Sally McManus - said the proposed cuts would be the single largest wage cut since the Great Depression, targeting already low-paid workers.

“It’s a wage cut that they can’t afford and they don’t deserve,” she said. 

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Celebrating our past - taking action for our future

Our union's Branch Secretary Terry Burke said Labour Day / May Day was always a special time of year for members - a chance to reflect on the sacrifices and wins of past generations and an opportunity to reaffirm and take action on the future we want for the next generation of Australian workers.

"Labour Day / May Day is the one opportunity a year that members get to come together with colleagues from across sectors and locations to celebrate all we have achieved as a union movement.

Our union spoke with members about the significance of Labour Day now and in the future during the Brisbane Labour Day march. Watch the video below.

IEUA-QNT Industrial Officer wins prestigous Labour Day Award

As part of Labour Day celebrations in Brisbane, IEUA-QNT Industrial Officer Danielle Wilson received the Kath Nelson Award in honour of her deep commitment and passion for unionism and social justice.

Danielle was presented with the award at the Queensland Council of Union (QCU) Labour Day Awards held in Brisbane on Friday, 28 April.

The prestigious award recognises an outstanding woman who, for her part, is a unionist of fundamental commitment to union principles and a person who has made a difference to the lives of workers and helped to build a stronger union movement. 

Click here to read more about Danielle's Award.

View photo highlights from Labour Day / May Day celebrations in the gallery below.