Interview: Staying Alive
Bad Boss: The Ultimate Piss Off
Industrial: Last Drinks
National Focus: Around the States
Politics: Radical Surgery
Education: The Price of Missing Out
Legal: If At First You Don't Succeed
History: Massive Attack
Culture: What's Right
Review: If He Should Fall
Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Satire: IMF Ensures Iraq Institutes Market Based Looting
The Locker Room
Bob Gould Sprays Gerard Henderson
War and Peace
A Strange Light
A Little History
Does It Have To Be?
We gather every 12 months to remember the union movement's successful battle for the eight-hour day.
The story is well known ...
40,000 peaceful marchers in Chicago confronted by 1300 armed National Guardsmen as they marched through the streets on May Day, 1886.
The wave of industrial activity continued through the 1880s where workers around the globe demanded cuts to the hours they worked.
London match girls, Belgian glass workers and workers across America were campaigning for an eight-hour day.
In Australia, workers marched in Sydney in 1891 - in what was described as "a cosmopolitan army of Labor", including workers from Russia, France, Sweden and Denmark.
And they won, they established the principle of the eight hour day - with eight hours for family and eight hours to rest.
The civilised balance - that again seems like a dream to many of our members
The people in this room carry the flag for the generations of unionists who have fought for a better life in the ensuing 117 years.
On this historic night we should salute each other
We should salute each other for the eight hour day
We should salute each other for achieving equal pay
And long service leave
And workplace health and safety laws
And paid maternity leave
And all the other things we have achieved as a movement to make the lives of our members that little bit easier.
We should also salute each other because there is another union history, which is all about inter-union and inter-factional rivalries
Of demarks, deals and doing-overs
Of tribalism and hatreds that go back so long that no-one knows when or how they began.
This is the union history that does us no justice -
It is a history which, if we allow it to continue, will sow the seeds to our movement's ultimate destruction.
On May Day we should not remember the bright lights without remembering this dark side.
On May Day 2003, let's raise our glasses and toast each other
Let's look each other in the ey and commit to using the coming 12 months to build our movement and make all its parts stronger so that the whole too will grow.
To practice the principle we preach - unity, integrity, collectivism.
In that way we will honour our labour heroes and ensure their memories and achievements live on.
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