Union movement celebrates as Labor apologises

The Labor Party used today’s Labor Day march in Brisbane to apologise for the defeated state government’s privatisation policies.

Queensland opposition leader Anastacia Palasczuk told marchers she would return the party to its traditional values.

Ms Palasczuk apologized for privatisation under the Labor Government and promised she would “bring back the old values”.

She received some heckling from listeners, but overall if members of Queensland’s trade union movement were upset over Labor’s sound drubbing at the polls in March, they weren’t showing it today.

Colourful union pride flowed through the streets of Brisbane as about 30,000 marchers turned out in their colours, chanting: “We’re workers. We’re united. We will never be defeated.”

A moment of drama came when members of the Aboriginal tent embassy protested on a corner of the parade circuit that organisers had not let them take part.

But after some negotiations they were allowed to join the procession.

The participants marched to the sound of music played by bands marching alongside them.

The Builder Labourers Federation had young cheerleaders with their pompoms dancing along to pumped up music.

The parade finished at the RNA show grounds where hundreds of trade union members gathered.

The Queensland secretary for Shop, Distributive and Allied Employee Association Chris Ketter said: “I think a reasonable amount of (people) turned out today.”

3 Responses to “Union movement celebrates as Labor apologises”
  1. Dee Clarke says:

    Trade Unionists may have turned out to self-congratulate, but how many of the public bothered to turn out to watch and wave?

    Time was when workers paraded to celebrate their brotherhood and workplace achievements. There was a dark cloud over yesterday’s march – a cloud of uncertainty over the integrity of Craig Thomson and the entire Labor federal government.

    Less than 18% of workers now belong to a union – what does that say about the relevance of the movement in the 21st century?

  2. Gita Hussain says:

    Great Story…. Great to know ppl r taking a stand for what they believe in. Good Job to both PK & Mitchell

  3. PK says:

    Yes Dee Clarke, in some aspect you’re right, what happened on Labor Day shows that maybe people have lost their faith in the Labor Government – their views are not the same as a few years back! Everything we once believed in somehow vanishes but also reappears later in life. Maybe this is just a phase where the relevance of the movement may not have any real impact in the 21st century right now, maybe down the track the relevance may return. Like you said, there is “a cloud of uncertainty” – what once was there yesterday may not be here today but could possibly return tomorrow. Nothing is certain.

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