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  • ASU SA + NT Branch

Celebrating May Day - the International Day of Workers

ASU members have once again celebrated May Day, with marches on Kaurna Land in Adelaide and on Larrakia Country in Darwin.

We had a great turn out to both marches, despite the rather soggy weather down south!

It was fantastic to have our President Kristen Gilbertson, Vice President Robert Habel and Branch Councillor Katharine Annear lead the ASU contingent in Adelaide.

This year the focus was on the Unions for Yes campaign.

In Adelaide, Aboriginal Activist and proud ASU member Khatija Thomas spoke to the crowd about why she personally supports a Voice to Parliament.

Khatija reminded us that fairness and justice is union business.

The origins of this year's referendum are in the decades-long push for genuine constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Research shows most Australians support constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament, and more than 80% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people also support it.

Among that 80% are a majority of ASU members who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.


May Day - also known as the International Workers' Day - is a chance to commemorate the historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement.

The May Day protests grew out of the struggle for the eight-hour day.

In Australia Stonemasons in Melbourne and Sydney won the eight-hour day as a general industry standard in 1856, setting an international benchmark. In the decades to come workers campaigned to extend the right to other industries.

May Day began with a protest in 1886. Unions in the United States held a massive general strike for the eight-hour day on 1 May. Somewhere between 300,000 to 500,000 workers took strike action on that day.

The original May Day protest was supposed to be just that, one protest. But it quickly grew into something much more: a global celebration of workers and our movement.

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