Unions rally in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast as part of nationwide rally against Turnbull and Hanson’s anti-worker attacks
Thousands of Unionists turned out in Brisbane as part of a National Rally in March to tell Malcolm Turnbull that Australians would stand up to their attacks on workers.
Speakers throughout the Union movement spoke out against the impact of proposed changes to Penalty Rates on low income, weekend workers, and the imposition of the ABCC on construction workers nationwide.
ETU Deputy State Secretary Peter Ong said Australian workers weren’t only under attack from the Liberal Government, but Pauline Hanson and One Nation had duped many working class voters by claiming to stand up for their interests, only to ruthlessly betray them in the Senate.
“In December Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch had an opportunity to save Australian workers, they had an opportunity to do the right thing for working Australians.
“Pauline Hanson ran around saying she’d reduce 457 visas in Australia. But instead of stopping 457 visas, she voted with the Liberal Government to introduce laws which stop us having an affect on that,” he said.
“She is an absolute anti-worker grub.
“We are under attack, our livelihoods are under attack. The future of our children’s working lives are under attack, and the fabric of Australia in general is under attack.
“If we do nothing and allow these grubs to do what they want to do, they will strip back 100 years of hard fought, and won, entitlements.
“So it’s simple comrades, we will hit the streets, we will fight back, we will take down this shit-bag government, and when the next Labor Government gets into power, we will keep campaigning and we will hold them to say they are going to do, and we will make them give back what has been taken away from us under this government.”
He said the Enough is Enough rally had echoes of the Your Rights At Work campaign, which unseated the Howard Liberal Government, following the introduction of similar anti-worker legislation known as Work Choices.
Ongy also took the opportunity to pay respect and acknowledge the contribution to the Trade Union movement of ETU State Secretary Peter Simpson, who took over from as Acting State Secretary in January, following Simmo’s battle with melanoma moving into Stage 4.
“Simmo’s been a Trade Unionist for over 40 years, 20 of those years as an official for the ETU, and 8 of them as State Secretary of the Electrical Trades Union.
“Over that time Simmo has had many battles, he has battled employers – grubby unscrupulous employers, he’s battled multinational companies, and he’s battled Governments both Labor and Liberal.
“It all happened so quickly that we didn’t get an opportunity to thank Simmo and acknowledge all the great work he has done in bettering workers lives and Queenslanders lives in general,” he said before the combined-Union crowd erupted into cheers in acknowledgement of Simmo’s efforts.
Earlier, QCU General Secretary Ros McLennan said the Enough is Enough rally was the start of the biggest community and union campaign Australia has ever seen.
Strap yourselves in for a real fight ahead.