CELEBRATION: Labour Day marchers walk through Gladstone's CBD during a previous year's march.
CELEBRATION: Labour Day marchers walk through Gladstone's CBD during a previous year's march. Brenda Strong GLA020511MACH

Workers' rights at the forefront of tomorrow's march

WORKERS' rights will be at the forefront of marchers' minds tomorrow during Gladstone's annual Labour Day celebrations.

March organiser and Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union representative Phil Golby said the event was always a grassroots affair.

"It's never put on with corporate sponsorship, it's always funded by the workers,” he said.

"And if it looked like we couldn't run it I'd pay for it myself.”

The main march will set out from the Gladstone Regional Council car park on Central Lane (behind the council chambers) at 10am, travelling through Gladstone and across the Matthew Flinders Bridge before finishing at the Gladstone Marina Parklands.

The Queensland Council of Unions will present live music at the Marina from 11:30 as part of a Labour Day Family Fun Day, with rides, food and drink also available throughout the day.

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said the event was an opportunity for people to "celebrate the common working person.”

"Labour Day is a chance for people to celebrate the achievements of the working class and to pledge their support for the union movement and the work that's been done in the past to protect their rights, pay and conditions,” he said.

"The whole day is pretty special for that reason.”

The Labour Day march will be followed by speeches from unionists and politicians including Mr Butcher.

The Labor MP said he was proud of Gladstone's record as one of the few towns which continued to hold its Labour Day march on May 1 during the term of the Newman Government, which moved the Labour Day public holiday to October.

"The Palaszczuk Government made a commitment that the traditional holiday would be reinstated, and now we get to celebrate that,” he said.

"It's not a tradition that's been going on for five minutes.”

Industrial relations are a hot topic in Gladstone at the moment, with Gladstone Power Station workers recently rejecting a controversial Enterprise Bargaining Agreement put directly to them by NRG despite the inclusion of a $3000 cash incentive.



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