Crowds hit city for Labour Day march
THEY say you have to celebrate your wins.
That is exactly what the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and a plethora of other unions will be doing tomorrow in Ipswich for the annual Labour Day march.
Marchers will be celebrating the hard won eight-hour day, and for the ETU the march holds extra significance as it is also the centenary for the Australian Services Union (ASU) branch of the Together union.
Lloyd Abbott is an electrician, an ETU delegate and the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) secretary. The Labour Day march is a date he looks forward to every year.
"It is a very proud day for me because I have been a unionist all my life," he said.
"My father was the ETU president for over 25 years so it has always been a part of my life.
"It just makes me proud to stand together with my comrades and celebrate the day and join together with other like minded people and have a good time.
"You do a lot of hard work along the way and one thing that is big with the unions is to celebrate your successes and achievements.
"Labour Day is also all about having a chat to people from different unions you might not have seen for a year or more."
Comparatively, the ETU is a smaller union than others but punches well above its weight.
In 2014 the union recorded its best year for membership growth since records were kept in 1996.
"We've had 8% growth over the last two years to take our membership over 15,000 in Queensland," Mr Abbott said.
"Membership growth has been on the increase since the year 2000. We are an active union with great membership and leadership.
"I am a delegate down at Coke and people see the ETU being active and they know if there are any issues they will be taken up at the local level in workplaces and not just at the higher levels.
"We are prepared to stand up for our members and won't walk away when things get tougher.
"We are willing to get in there with our members and represent them - we have a high profile."
The ETU looks after all electricians but Mr Abbott said they also represent other workers.
"But mainly we are a craft based electrician's union," he said.
The march will start at Blair State School in Syntax St with participants asked to get there at 9.30am for a 10am start. It will then go down Brisbane St and Bell St and back to the school.
"That could change on the day due to the wet weather, so we are trying to put a plan B in place," Mr Abbott said.
"Union members are invited to come down and because Labour Day celebrates the wining of the eight-hour day. We will get 1000 if the weather is fine."