Queensland workers are mourning the loss of former Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Ron Monaghan, a brave fighter for workers’ rights who died yesterday after a battle with cancer.
Mr Monaghan, 65, had a distinguished career in the demanding world of unions and politics.
During his eight years as QCU General Secretary from 2007 to 2015, Mr Monaghan campaigned ferociously for decent wages and better conditions for all 2.2 million Queensland workers.
He was a fighter for working people into his final days, campaigning to improve care for cancer patients during the federal election.
He also led the Queensland union movement’s campaign to retain public ownership of revenue-generating state assets, cementing this issue’s pivotal role in the past three state elections.
QCU General Secretary Ros McLennan said Ron would be remembered for his commitment to the value of a fair go, and his enormous contribution for workers over several decades.
“Ron stood up for Queenslanders and their future when in 2009 he led the Queensland union movement’s campaign against privatisation of public assets,” she said.
“These assets belong to the people of Queensland and the ongoing revenue they generate continues to be used to build a better future for the state.
“He was also a vocal champion of the indigenous community in their decades-long fight for Stolen Wages.”
Mr Monaghan started in the union movement in NSW in 1979 but ten years later moved north as an organiser with what is now United Voice.
His hard work there contributed to improved outcomes for workers, particularly in the cleaning and brewing industries, and he was branch secretary by 1999.
He was elected QCU General Secretary in 2007 as the Your Rights At Work campaign brought down the Howard federal government, and oversaw a change in the strategic direction of the Council.
A particular highlight during his tenure was the successful fight to protect and enhance Queensland’s Labour Day celebrations.
Despite ill health, Ron participated proudly in the 2019 Labour Day parade this May, with annual celebrations attracting record numbers around the state.
Ron is survived by his wife, Vicki, their eight children, and four grand-children.