N30 pics & numbers around the country

270,000 rally for worker's rights: Pictures/resources

The ACTU's initial estimates of today's turnout 300 venues around the country (excluding Perth rally) is 264,000. See end of this ACTU press release for breakup: >>

Unions vow to continue campaign against Fed Govt IR laws following successful national protest

Unions have vowed to continue the campaign against the Howard Government's IR laws following successful national protests at more than three hundred venues across Australia and the involvement of more than 264,000 people (with Perth and other WA rally attendances yet to be included).

The ACTU said that significant numbers of workers rallied across Australia today despite intimidation from the Federal Government and strong pressure to stay at work from many employers.

Under the new IR laws workers can be docked four hours pay for any unauthorised work stoppage and in businesses with less than 100 employees, workers have no protection from being sacked unfairly and can be sacked without warning.

In Melbourne, unions estimate that 60,000 people turned out at the MCG with Sharan Burrow, ACTU President, opening the rally by listing some of the unfair aspects of the new laws including the loss of protection from being sacked unfairly for millions of workers: "The Howard Government wants Australians, to "sit down and shut up", and take what the employer offers… You can be sacked without rhyme or reason and you have no right to defend yourself."

Union initial crowd estimates: 264,000 in total (not including Perth and WA rallies): Melbourne - 60,000 people; Victoria regions – 5,000; NSW – 116,000 including 40,000 in Sydney CBD; Canberra – 4,000; Adelaide – 30,000; SA regions – 1,000; Darwin – 2,500, NT regions – 500; Brisbane – 20,000; QLD regions – 25,000.