Labour Day 2021 A great success
By Chris Gazenbeek, SDA Secretary
Labour Day falls on the first Monday of May every year in Queensland. Traditionally, Labour Day celebrated the eight-hour working day which had its origins in the late 19th century. Workers and their unions successfully argued for a standard eight-hour work day, eight hours for leisure and eight hours for rest. In 2021, many of us take this for granted but we should never lose sight of the fact that the 8/8/8 balance is one of the pillars of Australian society.
Labour Day 2021 celebrated the many achievements of the SDA and the wider Australian trade union movement over the last 150 plus years. Such achievements as the 38 hour week, four weeks annual leave, annual leave loadings, public holiday entitlements, paid personal leave, 9.5% occupational superannuation, equal pay for work of equal value, additional public holidays such as Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday, the retention of penalty rates and workers’ compensation legislation are just some of the gains which trade unions and their members have won over the years. These gains should never be taken for granted as they are under constant attack by reactionary employers and governments.
If the reader has any doubt about the achievements of the SDA and other unions, ponder for a moment and think about how easy it would be for you and your work colleagues to ask your boss for a pay rise and an extra week of paid annual leave. You’re correct; it would be very difficult, if not impossible.
Labour Day is a celebration and I was very proud to march with over 200 SDA members and their families through the streets of Brisbane before we arrived at the RNA showgrounds.
In 2022, it would be fantastic to have over 400 members so I’m getting in early and inviting all south-east Queensland Shop Stewards, Delegates and interested members to march with me on
Monday, 2 May 2022. Children and family members are also invited; so come along and we’ll have a fun-filled day.
I look forward to marching with you!