Contributed from Queensland
Thousands turned out yesterday in Brisbane’s rally to push for a fairer industrial relations system. A previous rally in Canberra and others in Toowoomba, the Sunshine Coast, among other locations, also saw large numbers turn up. Some
It was not just the numbers. A militant and determined mood was evident. Union members and other supporters were loud in proclaiming their preparedness to wage a battle until significant change has been brought about.
Union leaders speaking on the platforms echoed and encouraged this.
The month long round of protests across the nation culminating in these rallies, had the immediate goal of putting pressure on the Morrison government. It was also about securing the support of Labor, the Greens and cross bench for change, and even more importantly, building the basis for organising an ongoing movement on the ground.
While there is something to say for putting pressure on politicians and getting rid of the Morrison government in exchange for needed reforms, it is an error to rely on this alone.
The push to pull down rights at work is not just a matter of what goes on in the parliament. It is being waged outside parliament by major employers and backed by the monopoly media.
Answering this requires a clear understanding that this is the main battle ground, and incorporating this understanding into the strategy, organisation and actions carried out.
Most important is winning the support of the broad community, setting the conditions for building the union movement, in and out of the workplace, and achieving the strength to impose a better deal, is far more important.
The Change the Rules Campaign led by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is making a major contribution to this.
The Electrical Trade Union contingent marches at the Brisbane rally