Steve Baker is Queensland Branch Secretary of The Australian Workers’ Union
Steve Baker was elected to the roles of AWUEQ and AWU Queensland Branch Secretary in July 2018.
A true active rank-and-file member of the AWU for nearly 30 years, Steve Baker has risen through the ranks to become Branch Secretary.
From an early age, Steve strongly understood the strength of working people working together in union.
“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,” Steve said.
“I saw first-hand how powerful it is for working people to stand together for fairer, safer and more secure jobs. It’s in my blood.
“So when I left school at 15 and started my first full –time job, I got involved and joined the Union.”
In the late 1980s, as an AWU member Steve was actively involved in improving wages and conditions of fellow workers at Redcliffe City Council when he was elected as an AWU Delegate.
Continuing to campaign alongside his work colleagues, Steve motivated people get active and join the union. Within months, it was a closed shop with 100% AWU members in the workforce.
“With 100% Union membership at the Council, the workers were able to stand together and speak loudly in one voice to get fair outcomes during bargaining negotiations,” Steve added.
“As the saying goes, there’s strength in numbers.”
After almost ten years as an AWU Delegate, his Union Organiser and mentor approached Steve about becoming an AWU Organiser. As an Organiser, Steve used his experience as a grass roots activist to empower workers in other workplaces. In 2012, Steve became Vice President of the AWU Queensland Branch and AWU Southern District Secretary.
In addition to these roles, Steve has held a number of positions, including:
- Member of the AWU Queensland Branch Executive and AWUEQ Executive
- Member of the AWU National Executive
- Assistant Secretary of the Queensland Branch
Steve has also represented workers on the AusSafe Super and Work Health and Safety Queensland Boards.
Steve Baker said he plans to use his experiences as a grass roots unionist to grow the Union to become a strong campaigning unit to ensure member are treated with dignity and respect at work and achieve fair outcomes in bargaining.
As Branch Secretary, Steve Baker said his priorities are focussing on members and growing membership.
“I plan to work with members, delegates and our organising team to build the Union so working people can enjoy better conditions, safer workplaces and more secure jobs,” Steve added.
“I’m a team player, so I’ll be taking an inclusive approach to engage with members, potential members and the broader community on issues that are important to our membership.
“Together we’ll create a stronger union where members have more of a say and input into the decision-making process.
“By growing the union together, we’ll ensure AWU members in Queensland have a stronger influence both industrially and politically.”