'Don't lay your swords down': Workers' rally just the beginning
MEN, women, grandparents and children were today told to "not lay down their swords" in a battle for Gladstone's working class.
The Gladstone Community Rally attracted more than 150 people this afternoon who shouted "shame" and cheered in support of speeches on worker's rights.
The crowd, littered with hi-vis and union shirts among mothers, children and grandparents, listened to issues from penalty rates to pre-employment medicals and enterprise bargaining agreements.
Organiser Andrew Lockwood said the rally was a show of support for the community.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union delegate and NRG employee has spent months in discussions with the power station about proposed changes to the enterprise bargaining agreement.
"It's about time we had good employment, secure employment and started looking after our community," Mr Lockwood said.
"The workers don't have millions just sitting there ... we spend it on our kids and we go on holidays, it goes back into our community."
Australian Workers' Union organiser Zac Beers said the rally was a show of support for Gladstone workers.
Describing the enterprise bargaining agreement dispute as "bitter and ugly," Mr Beers said the battle had just begun.
"Don't lay your swords down, the fight is still to come," Mr Beers said.
The rally came as talks continued today between NRG, unions and the Fair Work Commission to establish a new enterprise bargaining agreement for power station workers.