Union members walk off the job in Brisbane.
Union members walk off the job in Brisbane.

Union workers walk off the job to protest penalty rates

HUNDREDS of unionists have walked off the job and massed at Roma Street in Brisbane to fight against reductions in penalty rates and the Government's industrial relations agenda.

The rally coincides with industrial strikes across the country, including on the Gold Coast, as unions launch a prolonged Work Choices style campaign against the government.

Members of the militant CFMEU are out in large force, as well as the ETU, Plumbers Union and Queensland Nurses Union. There is little visible presence of the SDA, whose members are directly affected by the penalty rates decision.

Construction unions were warned earlier this week by the recently reintroduced regulator, the Australian Building and Construction Commission, that any strikes had to receive written authorisation from employers.

CFMEU leaders worked the crowd up, leading a series of chants.

"Penalty rates are here to stay, LNP go away," they chanted.

"We are the unions, the arse kicking unions."

The rally also attacked Pauline Hanson and One Nation, marching through the city and accusing her of selling out workers.

"One Nation is their name, bashing workers is their game. Every city, every town, Queensland workers don't back down."