Introducing your new AWUQ Branch Secretary Steve Baker

Sunday 22nd July 2018

Earlier this month, I was elected the Queensland Branch Executive of the Australian Workers’ Union to the roles of AWUEQ and AWU Queensland Branch Secretary when Ben Swan announced he would be stepping down on 20th July.

It is a great honour to be elected to these positions in this Union which has nearly 130 years of history of standing up for a fair go for working people.

As Ben Swan retires as Branch Secretary, I wish to pay tribute to his work in the Union for the past twenty years in various positions, including AWU Assistant National Secretary and AWU Queensland Branch Secretary. His strong determination has steered this organisation through many challenging times and fierce attacks on Unions in recent years.

We wish Ben the very best as he pursues new opportunities.

Coming into this new role, I understand the strength of working people standing together in Union from an early age.

My father was a coal miner and steel worker from the North of England. He always said - when you start a job the first thing you do is join the Union.

When I started my first full time job at 15 years of age, that’s exactly what I did - and I’ve been an active Unionist ever since.  I have seen first-hand how powerful it is for working people to stand together for fairer, safer and more secure jobs.

Unionism is in my blood.

I’ve been a rank-and-file AWU member and then a workplace Delegate before becoming a Union Organiser and Southern District Secretary.  I’ve held other positions in the AWU, and represented members on superannuation and workplace safety boards.

I plan to use this experience as a grass roots unionist to grow the Union to become a strong campaigning unit to ensure members are treated with dignity and respect at work to achieve fair outcomes in bargaining.

By working with members, delegates and our organising team we will build the Union so working people can enjoy better conditions, safer workplaces and more secure jobs. We all have a role to play to achieve this.

I’m a team player, so I’ll be taking an inclusive approach to involve members, potential members and the broader community on issues that are important to our membership.

By growing the union together, we will ensure AWU members in Queensland have a stronger influence both industrially and politically.

I look forward to working with you to grow the AWU. We are stronger together.

In Unity

Steve Baker
Secretary Queensland Branch
The Australian Workers' Union