SUPPORT: Union members in Blackwater, marched with pride on Sunday.
SUPPORT: Union members in Blackwater, marched with pride on Sunday. Meghan Kidd

Blackwater union members march despite the lost of may day

THE May Day legacy we inherited has been stolen, those were the words worn with pride on the shirt backs of participants in Blackwater's Labour Day march on Sunday.

A "reward" for the conviction of Premier Campbell Newman for the "felonious crime of the theft of Labour Day 2013" was being offered up on slogans, as the 100-strong crowd of representatives from various unions marched to honour the origins of Labour Day.

The event remembers those who struggled to ensure fair working conditions.

Workers have marched with pride on the first Monday of May every year - until this year, after an announcement in late August, 2012, that the public holiday would be moved to the first Monday in October.

The message was clear on Sunday - it was about more than a public holiday being moved to a later date on the calendar year; it was about the theft of a tradition.

"May Day is a day in honour of labour," CFMEU district vice-president Glenn Power said to the crowd.


"Traditionally a day as a historic feature until the LNP announced they were moving it to October."


The nodding of heads and applause was confirmation that those present on Sunday felt robbed of a day that had been celebrated for more than a century.

"They can take our May Day off us, but they cannot stop us uniting," Mr Power said.

"Workers and families need to unite more so now than ever. We need to be vigilant and connect the campaign because it's our resources, our jobs, our kids and our future."

National CFMEU general vice-president Wayne McAndrew backed Mr Power's sentiment.

He said there was no better place to be than in a coal mining community, and Blackwater topped the list.

"I don't see an event like this where I come from," he told the crowd.

"Being a coal miner has never been just a job - it's a way of life. Fighting for the underdog - that is the spirit and legacy of May Day, and I agree that now more than ever, we're fighting for it."

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