Parts of Brisbane were shut down today as construction workers downed tools to protest against unfair work conditions.

Their demonstrations also caused a headache for drivers on the Pacific Motorway with a five kilometre blockade by Gold Coast workers travelling to join the protest.

Amy Schostakowski reports.


They came from near and far to have their message heard.

Thousands of labourers descended upon Roma Street Parklands this morning, protesting against unfair pay on Queensland Government building sites.

Vox 1: “We’ve got people on site, that are doing the same job but getting two different rates of pay.”

Vox 2: “The workers, on particularly the Gold Coast job, are getting paid $650, $700, when they should be getting $1,100.”

More than 1,500 of those workers travelled up the M1 from the Gold Coast to join today’s protest.

A five kilometre rolling blockade angered morning commuters but organisers say it’s nothing to the inconvenience workers suffer with what they say are unfair conditions.

Michael Ravbar, CFMEU State Secretary: “The workers suffer, their families suffer, Queensland taxpayers also suffer because they are paying a premium. We’re not about builders making a profit at the worker’s expense.”

It’s been an expensive protest for workers at the Gold Coast University hospital site.

It’s their 12th day off the job fighting the fair wages fight.

David Hanna, Builders Labourers Federation: “We are going to stand with these workers all the way until they get their just pay for their just work.”

Representatives handed over more than 2,500 complaints to the Fair Work Ombudsman before continuing the protest down George Street.

They were hoping to hand their petition to the Premier.

Anna Bligh wasn’t here in Brisbane today because Parliament is sitting in Mackay.

But the Premier will have been made aware of the protestors concerns because fellow workers in Mackay marched onto the convention centre this morning where parliament is sitting.

Union bosses are hoping for a response from the Premier within 48 hours.

Amy Schostakowski, QUT News.