Gladstone's union members celebrate a victory

UNION proud Gladstone was out in voice as the May Day Rally returned to the first Monday of the month after the former state coalition Government moved it to October.

Gladstone member Glenn Butcher made an impassioned speech in front of more than 500 union members about the how their fight had restored the unions sacred day to where it should be under the Labor government.

But it was the woman with the big smile and maroon United Voices garb that had a lot to do with the Labor voting swing Gladstone has experienced.

Shelly Holzheimer led the rally with the two men she had worked tirelessly to get into office, Mr Butcher and Gladstone Regional Council mayor Matt Burnett.

As she was introduced, Electrical Trade Union organiser Craig Giddins said the campaign manager for both Mr Butcher and Mr Burnett was supposed to be retired but was more active than ever.

"I'm not retired, I'm just tired," she quipped once she grabbed the microphone.

She thanked those who marched with her in the 100th year that United Voices had been fighting for "workers that for too long had been forgotten".

But her last comment before she handed back the microphone showed her next job will be to secure another union member into the federal seat of Flynn.

"We've got a Butcher, we've got a Burnett and we need a Beers (the Labor candidate for Flynn)," she said.

Zac Beers, also an Australian Workers' Union organiser, addressed the crowd about the federal election expected to be announced this week.

"This next federal election is going be a battle ground of industrial relations," he said.

"Everyone here will remember the campaign in 2007 against WorkChoices and against (Australian Building and Construction Commission), a body that has the ability to strip workers of their basic rights."

Gladstone Regional councillor Kahn Goodluck in his Australian Manufacturers Workers' Union shirt on interjected with "shame" showing how strong the links between Gladstone politics and the unions are.

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