UNIONS are calling on Orange residents to take up placards and posters and march down Summer Street in protest at state government funding cuts.
The protest is mooted to occur May 5 and designed as a traditional May Day rally.
Central West Union Alliance co-chairman Bernard Fitzsimon said the rally was a chance for the community to get together to air their frustrations at cuts to healthcare, education and emergency services.
“At the moment people are complaining individually but this will bring them together to send a clear message,” he said.
“O’Farrell [NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell] had an agenda of fiscal responsibility, he did not have a mandate to slash and burn and hack and cut.”
The rally will be led by James Cantrill and his family. Mr Cantrill was involved in a horrific car accident driving to work in August last year that left him with permanent injuries.
Mr Cantrill is not eligible for workers’ compensation due to government changes for journeys to and from work.
His father Peter will drive a car with the mangled wreck of James’s utility in a trailer behind.
The unions will hold a meeting tonight at Kelly’s Rugby Hotel at 6pm to finalise details about the event.
“Everyone is invited to attend, not just unions, we’ve had interest from anti-coal seam gas proponents and disgruntled farmers,” he said.
Member for Orange Andrew Gee said the rally was part of a long and painful cry for relevance from the union movement.
“They have lost touch with working Australians who no longer see them as their true representatives,” he said.
“This is reflected in union membership numbers which have been declining for 20 years.
“In NSW consumer confidence and economic growth is up and unemployment is down.”