In defiance of threats of thousand-dollar fines for taking part, as many as ten thousand construction workers rallied at Trades Hall this morning before marching to the sites of recent fatal accidents involving construction giant Grocon – the collapse of a wall in Swanston Street where three passers-by were crushed to death, and the Myer site in Lonsdale Street where long-time CFMEU member Bill Ramsay fell to his death on February 18th last. The march was self-disciplined and silent, in addition to the observing of a minute’s silence at each of the locations, with only a short burst of chanting at the end, outside the offices of WorkSafe in Exhibition Street. Victorian Trades Hall Council Secretary Brian Boyd addressed the rally briefly at the start, and at the end introduced the Victorian Secretaries of the CFMEU (John Setka), the ETU (Troy Gray), the PTEU (Earl Setches) and the AMWU (Steve Dargavel).
As well as the construction workers the rally was joined by members of a range of other unions, and banners of, amongst others, the MUA, ANF, TCFUA, NTEU, AMWU, ASU, CEPU, CPSU and United Voice can be seen in the photos below. There were also representatives of the IWW, The Socialist Party, and Socialist Alliance, as well as members of the public and university students – two of those killed by the wall collapse were students at Melbourne University.
Some reports of the rally:
(These shots can also be viewed as a slideshow on YouTube)