If the turnout at the 2017 Labour Day in Brisbane is any indication of the potency of the union movement, then there is little doubt that it is truly going from ‘strength to strength’.
An estimated 20,000 union members and their families marched under a pleasant and sunny, Brisbane sky – all eager to demonstrate their very clear support for workers rights, and in particular, the retention of weekend penalty rates, now under threat.
Some people may claim that unions are on the wane, however, the impressive attendance and strong show of support is clear testimony as to the resilience and determination of our unions – and their members – to stand up for the rights of Queensland workers.
Speaking to an enthusiastic Labour Day crowd, newly elected ACTU Secretary, Sally McManus reminded her audience about the important role our unions will play in continuing the fight against the abuses of workers entitlements as well as campaigning for a fairer economy for all. Given her very public profile in recent weeks, no one can question her tenacity, passion and sheer endurance in the ongoing battle exacerbated by a ruthless and cunning anti-worker Coalition Government.
Sally reminds us that we have a federal government unable or clearly unwilling to rein in escalating corporate greed which is seeing billions of dollars going overseas rather than being spent on our nation and its future. Her vision of an active, progressive and robust union movement is sorely needed at a time when social and economic inequality is rising.
However, with the calibre of the people in our unions, from Sally as ACTU Secretary to the rank and file member taking to the streets to support their fellow workers, we can be assured that the future of our union movement is secure.