More than 1000 unionists have descended on Brisbane for the Australian Council of Trade Unions Congress where the peak body’s new president will be elected.
Long-time Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union boss Michele O’Neil is the favourite to become the next ACTU president on Tuesday when the two-day meeting officially opens.
The TCFUA was part of the high-profile merger between the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union and Maritime Union of Australia.
Ms O’Neil is the national secretary of the super-union’s textile, clothing and footwear sector of its manufacturing division.
The new president will join former prime minister Bob Hawke and one-time Labor leader Simon Crean as holders of the key office.
The post has been vacant since Ged Kearney announced she would go into politics earlier in the year.
Ms Kearney, who will speak at congress on Tuesday, is now the federal Labor MP for Batman after an upset by-election win over the Greens.
Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover addressed the troops behind closed doors last night, as he continues his activist visit to Australia.
The actor has injected some star power to congress as he spoke alongside the union movement’s headline act, ACTU Secretary Sally McManus.
The ACTU will thrash out its policy direction during the event, as unions set a course for the next three years including the federal election.
Removing ballots to go on strike and higher payouts for unfair dismissal are expected to be discussed.
Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk are among the Labor heavyweights set to speak at the event.
ACTU Congress is held once every three years, with the 2018 event coming as unions ramp up their push for radical changes to workplace laws through the Change The Rules campaign.