ETU takes May Day campaign to the streets.

ETU takes May Day campaign to the streets

The billboard towering over Coronation Drive in Premier Newmans Ashgrove electorate, says it all; May Day 2013 will be in May, Newman its not yours to give away!

Workers Self Management Group at 1971 May Day march (Fortitude Valley Brisbane) Photo: Graham Garner

ETU State Secretary Peter Simpson sums up his unions position on the LNP governments decision to smash 120 years of Queensland tradition by moving the May Day holiday from May to October from 2013.

May_Day_1967 – Peace Contingent

May Day, Labour Day call it what you like will be commemorated with rallies and marches across the state in May 2013 and into the future. Its a day that has been part of our history, part of our culture since the 1890s when workers and their families; celebrate, commemorate and remember those who fought for and in some cases died for the working conditions and rights we enjoy today. Those rights include; reasonable working hours, superannuation, leave entitlements, decent wages, safety at work and the list goes on. No poisoned-penned, petty Premier will change that, Mr. Simpson said

The government said the decision was made to bring Queensland into line with other states and territories, however they have forgotten a key thingthis is Queensland and we are Queenslanders. May Day in this state has a history longer than Anzac Day, Queens Birthday and Australia Day. No one has the right to re-write history

We are pleased that the ALP has agreed to reinstate May Day back to its rightful place in May, when they have the capacity to do so and until that day the ETU and the rest of the labour movement in Queensland has an obligation to keep our history alive

The ALP and the ETU have co sponsored an e petition calling on the government to reconsider its decision. http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petition?PetNum=1981

When the news broke earlier this year that the newly elected LNP government were contemplating moving the traditional May Day holiday from May to October it was seen as a stunt, given the previous government had already done a review and had concluded that the Sovereigns Birthday, which has no real cultural connection to Queensland should be moved to October while the traditional Labour Day May Day holiday should remain in May.

We thought Newman was looking for a distraction from the backlash against his public sector and community services cuts, we did not believe he would attack a day that is an integral part of this states history, dating back to the 1890s. Newman will find out to his governments detriment that history will judge this decision harshly, you can change a day, but you will never change the resolve of our members to stand up and be counted

This is the latest in an increasingly bitter battle between the Premier and the states unions.

Peter Simpson (State Secretary) 0419 721 041

Andrew Irvine (Media Officer) 0448 633 858

May Day Billboard MR.pdf

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