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Labour Day march in Rockhampton in 2019
Labour Day march in Rockhampton in 2019

Unions back frontline workers after May Day march cancelled

Frontline workers will be front of mind as Labour Day takes a very different tack as COVID-19 halts marches On any given year, Labour Day means a sea of high-vis and boisterous chanting as unions from persuasions take to the streets in solidarity, but not this year.

QNMU Secretary Beth Mohle said coronavirus shone a light on the contributions of nurses, midwives, aged care staff and many other frontline workers - most of whom female.

"This Labour Day we celebrate and value the work of all those on the frontline during COVID-19,'' Ms Mohle said.

Labour Day march in Rockhampton in 2019
Labour Day march in Rockhampton in 2019

"We acknowledge and celebrate all nurses, midwives, aged care staff and other frontline workers. It's important to note that the COVID-19 frontline, both here and around the world, consists predominantly of women.

"Coronavirus has brought into sharp relief the value of the work these staff undertake in hospitals, health services, aged care facilities, childcare, retail and elsewhere. These staff are the glue that bind our society.''

Ms Mohle also celebrated the union movement that protects these workers - and those they care for.

"Unions throughout Australia and the world work very hard to ensure safe and fair conditions for workers and those they care for,'' Ms Mohle said.

"In Queensland, this is evidenced by the initiatives such as the QNMU's campaign to see nurse-to-patient ratios introduced in the state's public hospitals.

"Unions have successfully campaigned for initiatives that protect Australians every day.''

Instead of the annual march, union members are being asked to flood their social media feeds.

The Services Union told its members this morning to share their stuff with the hashtags #LD2020 and #LabourDay2020 and to tag @QueenslandUnions, other members, and their unions.

Labour Day march in Rockhampton 2019
Labour Day march in Rockhampton 2019

"On social media send messages of support to all those workers on the front line who are supporting us through this pandemic. And recognise all those workers who have suffered because of shut downs and other actions caused by the pandemic," the call to arms read.



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