Major ACTU pow wow to set unions' agenda

Matt Coughlan

ACTU CONGRESS 2018

WHAT IS IT?

The ACTU Congress is held every three years and is the largest trade union gathering. The three-day event, to be held in Brisbane from Monday July 16, will set the movement's agenda. Policies will be voted on and elections will be held for the ACTU's leadership positions. This year a new president will be elected to replace Ged Kearney, who is now a federal Labor MP.

WHO GOES?

More than 800 delegates are expected to attend, representing workers from all industries and sectors.

Labor leader Bill Shorten will address the congress, as will Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Hollywood star Danny Glover will speak at an event alongside ACTU secretary Sally McManus on Monday.

WHAT'S ON THE AGENDA?

A move to axe pre-strike ballots is expected to be among the draft policies debated at congress. Stronger protections for unfair dismissal claims are also set to be discussed. Unions will ramp up their push for industry-wide bargaining and protected industrial action.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Congress will shape unions' focus with a federal election likely to be held next year. The ACTU is in the midst of its Change The Rules campaign which is the biggest push since the Your Rights At Work effort which helped to bring down the Howard government a decade ago. Congress comes five months ahead of Labor's national conference which was postponed because of a clash with five federal by-elections.