On September 28, Victorian construction workers enjoyed a well-earned barbeque and a few beers for the traditional shutdown weekend prior to the AFL grand final. On a construction site in Geelong, workers and union officials gathered to also celebrate and commemorate union legend John Cummins' life.
Organiser Brendan Murphy and Geelong Trades Hall secretary Tim Gooden unveiled a commemorative wall of photos, articles and tributes to John "Cummo" Cummins who recently passed away. I said at the event that many of the conditions we enjoy today were fought for, and won, in previous campaigns led by John Cummins.
Occupational health and safety representative and long-term construction worker Paul Browning said, "The 36-hour week nine-day fortnight is just one important condition that Cummo led the struggle for".
Murphy added that "site allowance, regulation of safety, good wages, industry superannuation are just a few of the issues that Cummo campaigned successfully for". Gooden added, "Cummo always took up the hard battles, and always raised the politics of bosses versus workers and the unjust system we live in".
All present agreed that workers have certainly lost one of the finest union leaders in Australian history.
[Craig Johnston is a shop steward for the CFMEU.]