It’s April 21st, the 156th anniversary of the Victorian Stonemason’s Society’s march (along with other construction workers) from Melbourne Uni to the Parliament House building site in support of the eight hour work day pioneered in Britain by factory-owning socialist Robert Owen.
Though Sydney workers had achieved the eight hour day some seven months earlier, Victorians were one of the first organised union groups in the world to achieve this without loss of pay. It took a breathtakingly short 21 days from public march to public holiday (Labour Day) – approximately one thirteenth as long as our general EBA negotiations.
It’s 952 days until the next election. We’ve seen what the Liberal Party party’s caretaking’s like – in 2 years, 7 months and 8 days we get to decide if we want to keep a Premier who’s less progressive than Victoria’s first Premier, Dr William Haines.