In the lead-up to a federal election, some May Day rallies across Australia from April 30 to May 2 were bigger than usual.
The annual marches focussed on calling for secure jobs, higher wages and an end to the deepening inequality and privatisation which is gutting services. Much of the chanting focussed around kicking out Scott Morrison and the Coalition on May 21.
The Sydney march, organised by the May Day Committee, started at Sydney Town Hall where speakers addressed the packed-out square and marched to NSW Parliament House for music and more speeches. Food and drinks were supplied by the May Day Committee and Unions NSW.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) made sure that the need to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) was an issue.
Joel McAlear reports that May Day in the Illawarra, organised for April 30 by the South Coast May Day Committee, drew hundreds of unionists. The unions present included the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), Nurses and Midwives Association, Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union (CFMEU), New South Wales Teachers Federation, Rail, Tram and Bus Union, Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, Australian Workers' Union, Public Service Association and others. The main message was very clear: we can't take another three years of this; we need to change the system and we need to change the government.
Renfrey Clarke reports that about 1000 unionists and supporters marched in Adelaide on April 30, from Elder Park through the city centre to Tarntanyangga (Victoria Square).
Kathy Fairfax reports that more than 1000 workers and unionists marched in beautiful autumn weather to Foreshore Park, Newcastle, where speakers demanded higher wages, an end to labour hire firms and the gig economy and a change of government.
Chloe DS reports that around 1000 marched in Melbourne, including contingents from the MUA, the CFMEU and the Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union Vic and WA.
Many community groups joined too, including Migrante Melbourne and the Anatolian Cultural centre whose members played music. Some protesters carried signs calling for more public housing.
Many from the Sri Lankan community came to draw attention to the general strike in that country. Venezuelan Ambassador Daniel Gaspari was one of several speakers to address the march.