Shaping up to be one of the largest community or union marches in Orange in recent memory, this Sunday’s May Day march and rally will have a serious element – the shocking treatment of injured workers following the Liberal-National O’Farrell-Stoner Government’s cuts to their protections in Workers Compensation legislation.

The march will led by injured young Orange worker James Cantrill and his family, and on a trailer the destroyed vehicle James was driving at the time of his work-related accident last year.

James was critically injured on the way to work at Central West Linen Service in August 2012 when he was involved in a motor vehicle collision, in which he was not at fault.

The laws introduced by the Liberal-National Government and supported by local Nationals MP Andrew Gee came into effect on 19 June, 2012, meaning that James was not covered by workers compensation. The removal of coverage for travel to and from work is one a raft of rights removed by the O’Farrell-Stoner Government’s workers compensation changes.

Representatives from the Injured Workers Support Network are attending the rally and will carry a “Justice for James” banner in support of James and his family.

“James was travelling to work that morning and would not have been on the road otherwise.
James is left with nothing – no vehicle, no income, mounting medical bills and horrific injuries. He is left to rely on the public health system and his family to carry the burden” said Michelle Burgess, Coordinator of the Injured Workers’ Support Network.

Speakers at the rally will include local union representatives from Orange, and James’ mother, Christine Cantrill.

“May Day has a tradition in Australia dating back to 1856 during strikes for the first eight hour day, and became adopted as an international workers day after massive strikes and protests in the US, the biggest in Chicago, for the eight hour work day in 1886 . It is celebrated as a commemoration of what workers have achieved, and the need to fight for the future. We have a strong history of union activity in Orange with regular big marches last century commemorating the eight hour day. We’re proud to continue this tradition this Sunday” said rally organiser Joe Maric from the Central West Community Union Alliance.

“This will be a memorable community day organised by the Central West Community Union Alliance, and is not to be missed. We’d like everyone in the community to come together and support this event” said Mr Maric.

“After assembling at the Cook Park rotunda from 11am, the march through the centre of town will be followed by speeches and a sausage sizzle, with face painting and other activities for the kids. Please come along with your family and friends and help spread the word” he said.

Contact: ​Joe Maric, spokesperson, Central West Community Union Alliance: 0438 408 087
Michelle Burgess, Injured Workers Support Network, 0419 402 775
Orange May Day march details:

Sunday 5 May
Assemble at Cook Park Band Rotunda (Summer St West, Orange) by 11.00am.
March departs via Summer St at 11.30 for Robertson Park (Orange CBD) for speakers, BBQ, & face painting for the kids

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