Video: Union members protest free trade agreement
ABOUT 2000 people have attended a rally in Gladstone today to push for changes to the China Free Trade Agreement.
Union members and supporters gathered outside the office of Federal MP Ken O'Dowd.
Before the event, Queensland Council of Unions general secretary Ros McLennan said the free trade deal risked local jobs and livelihoods through reducing restrictions on imported foreign labour.
She said the federal Coalition had negotiated the free trade agreement in secret last year and now expected Australian workers to just accept its negative impacts.
Unions say the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement "allows Chinese companies to bring in their own workforce for projects over $150 million and removes the requirement that jobs be offered to local workers first".
"It's a fact that overseas workers under this Free Trade Agreement will not be required to have the same level of skills that local workers must observe," Ms McLennan said.
Mr O'Dowd, who is believed to be in Canberra today, has previously said allegations about local jobs being impacted were "nothing more than union propaganda".