Unions are backing calls for renewed negotiations between the Queensland Government and indigenous groups over wages stolen from Aboriginal workers last century.

A public rally will be held in Brisbane’s King George Square at lunchtime today to support calls for increased payments to workers who had their wages withheld by the State Government between 1897 and 1972.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow congratulated the Beattie Government on being the first in Australia to deal with the problem, but said the State’s payments to workers are not enough to provide just compensation.

The Government’s payments so far amount to only $2000 or $4000 for each worker, some of whom have been denied many times as much,” Ms Burrow said.

“Unions are calling on the Government to hold new negotiations with Indigenous representatives to try to find a better solution.”

A set of 50,000 post cards highlighting the injustice of the stolen wages problem will be launched at today’s rally.

WHAT: Stolen Wages Rally

WHERE: King George Square

WHEN: 12pm-2pm Friday August 8, 2003

CONTACT: Christine Howes 0419 656 277