Ipswich Labour Day march.
Ipswich Labour Day march. Rob Williams

Unions: 'This is why we march in Ipswich'

IPSWICH retail workers will lose $6000 a year on average due to weekend penalty rate cuts, says union representative Steve Franklin.

Opposition to the cuts was a key theme at Saturday's Labour Day march in which hundreds of workers and union members walked through Ipswich CBD.

Mr Franklin, an Australian Manufacturing Workers Union representative, said the march was about educating people on the importance of the union movement.

He said discussions around the issue of weekend penalty rates were vital.

"It's the people who can least afford to lose money for penalties on a Sunday who are losing out," Mr Franklin said.

"I really think it's big business pushing this, not small shops."

The Ipswich figure said most people took workplace rights for granted.

"We have to keep fighting to keep them there. If we don't fight, they will disappear."

Mr Franklin said he hoped people used today's public holiday not only to spend time with loved ones, but to also celebrate how much unions had achieved for workers in Australia.

"I hope people reflect on what unions have fought for over the last 100 years. We worked hard to get holidays, weekends and a 38-hour week - the things many now take for granted," he said.

"I hope families enjoy the day but take time to also educate others about what it is to be a union member."

Stands were set up in the Ipswich Mall where people gathered to listen to speeches and enjoyed a range of family activities.



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