Rockin’ for workers’ rights

Union members and their families gathered for the Rockin’ for Rights Protest March in Sydney’s Hyde Park to express their opposition to the Howard’s IR laws.

The march on 22 April was a powerful and creative way for Australian workers to have their voices heard, with the march culminating in a concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground at Moore Park.

The NSWNA was there in force to represent the value of nurses and to show their support for all workers’ rights. With prime position at the front of the march, the NSWNA showed their dedication to its members, proudly waving their flags and banners.

Unions NSW Secretary, John Robertson, gave an inspiring speech that encouraged Australians to keep up the fight and to protect their rights at work. ‘Be loud and proud for what we stand for – we must have our voices heard about our opposition to IR laws,’ he said.

‘We are sending a message to Howard – we are coming after him in the next election and we will be voting for our rights at work,’ Robertson said to an applauding crowd.

The march attracted a huge crowd that was loud and clear as they made the journey from Hyde Park to the SCG. Young and old workers marched side by side with families, officials and even pets.

The concert drew over an estimated 40,000 revellers and some of Australia’s biggest music acts performed at the SCG. Peter Garrett attended as a special guest. The artists were proud to lend their time and talents to such an important cause.

Members have their say

Angela Pridham, RN and NSWNA Councillor, Illawarra Mental Health

‘As nurses we could lose the conditions of our awards that we have all fought so hard for – these laws are just generally unfair on workers.’

Lyn Hopper, NUM and NSWNA Councillor at Manly Hospital

‘I am worried about the future of job conditions and job security – my colleagues in aged care are already feeling the effects and it’s scary.’

Phillip Sheard, CNC and NSWNA Branch Secretary at Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital, with children Alex and Elena

‘I want fairness across the board for all workers, especially people who don’t have marketable skills and may find it difficult to negotiate their rights and conditions.’