On the eve the Electrical Trade Union (ETU) Australia centenary founding anniversary conference, with the theme of “100 Years of Power,” being held 10-11 July in Gold Coast Queensland, Allen Hicks was elected unopposed as National Secretary for the second time along with State Secretaries, State Council representatives and National Office officials. About 350 conference delegates, international guests and Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) leaders were in attendance.
In his opening speech Hicks reiterated that the ETU founding members’ determination and dedication to improve working conditions for electricial workers has been the inspiration for the celebration. He stated, “A century of struggle, a century of fighting, a century of winning in our 100 years of Power.”
Recognising the strategic role women have played in strengthening ETU in the workplace he declared “I am proud to lead a union that is setting a standard for female representation and giving women the much-need voice to lead in our industries and union movement.”
“We are proud to be part of the ETU 100 years founding anniversary by being directly involved in many struggles and victories they have lead from the boycott against Carlton United Brewery and the recently concluded industrial dispute at Longford gas plant of Victorian oil and gas, where workers were striking over pay and conditions at Esso's offshore operations for more than 700 days,” said Ambet Yuson, BWI General Secretary.
“At the same time, we recognize ETU’s crucial contributions in supporting the formation of the BWI Asia Pacific Electrical Workers Union Network last April and particularly providing international solidarity to the struggles of electrical workers in Bangladesh and India - PBSKL and NOSBM, respectively,” added Ambet.
Hicks also underscored the strategic need to bring in young workers in the trade union through apprenticeship program. “Apprentices which are the future of our union and our industry, can play an important role in telling the ETU’s long proud history of fight and struggle of the past century. We must resolve to bring them into the movement, so they are not only workmates but comrades,” he concluded.