Workers and unions gather to discuss changing the rules
ON Wednesday night 35 trade unionists and workers met to discuss "what was needed to make Australia a fairer society".
Phil Golby of the AMWU said it was about "getting stability back in the workforce and the country."
"Big business and government are pushing to take money away from the lowest paid workers," he said.
They want to keep wages down and cut penalty rates for the lowest paid.
"But how many more people are working in coffee shops as a result of cutting penalty rates?
"When the living wage was first introduced, the award rate was set so dad could go to work for 40 hours a week and support a family.
"As wages go down so does everything else, the whole community is affected."
Mr Golby said the union was fighting to keep locally-owned contracting businesses open.
"So they'll hire local workers who'll spend their money in Gladstone," he said.
A recent ACTU employment and wages survey of 852 Flynn residents found, while most supported a change to workplace agreement negotiations, more than half said employers needed more freedom and flexibility to create jobs and give pay rises.