The vast diversity of communities in the Australian workforce are fully represented in the membership of trade unions right across the country.
As a reflection of this, the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU), Unions NSW and South Asia Labor came together for the first time this Ramadan, to begin a new tradition, a Unions in Unison Interfaith Iftar held at the historic Trades Hall in Sydney on Thursday 14 June 2018.
Richard Olsen, State Secretary of the TWU in NSW said “we have created an evening of unity and good spirit that will now bring us together every year”.
“Unions work together, we fight together, and triumph together for workers. From many different communities, many different cultures and many different faiths, every day we come together as one to support each other, to share our stories, to learn, and to celebrate”, Richard Olsen said.
Aisha Amjad and Harish Velji who organised the event on behalf the South Asia Labor said “We were pleased to see interfaith and intercultural leaders come together to recognise the unity in our community that Ramadan celebrates each year.”
Others who addressed the Iftar included the Secretary of Unions NSW Mark Morey, NSW Labor General Secretary Kaila Murnain, Federal MP Tony Burke, State MP Adam Searle, State MP Jihad Dib.
Adam Searle MP said “Unions have always been at the forefront of promoting fairness and equality in our country, and that has included fighting against all forms of discrimination. Part and parcel of this has been breaking down barriers and enhancing harmony in society, across geography, class and faiths.”
Trades Hall, the headquarters of Unions NSW is the site of many historical events that have ensured the progression of the rights of workers. Former Australian Prime Minister, Ben Chifley, once spoke there saying “By working the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere, we may give a helping hand.”