Nearly 1,000 Australian ambulance officers and firefighters staged a deafening protest outside State Parliament this week about cuts to their working conditions.

One protester even went as far to throw two pairs of boots over the gates of parliament and challenged Australian Premier Colin Barnett to "walk in their shoes for a day".

John Oliver from the United Firefighters Union announced to cheers from the crowd that officers would hold a 24 hour strike on Monday.

Officers concerns centre on what they believe are plans to privatise patient transport services and moves to allow volunteer firefighters to fill in at metropolitan stations.

"They're very concerned about out-sourcing, contracting, casualisation," said Queensland Council of Unions president John Battams.

"People often say that the most important thing that a person has is a job so when you start to threaten jobs by employing casuals or volunteers to replace permanent professional people, that's a matter of deep concern."

Opposition MPs turned out to meet the protesters but no government representatives were present.

Mr Battams added that workers were not asking for "huge pay increases" but just that their professional services be maintained amid a climate of State Government cost-cutting.

"It really galls people that we laud emergency service workers when they're in the firing line during emergencies and yet at other times we just take them for granted or in fact try to take their jobs away," he said

The Australian protest was reminiscent of the police service 'March Against the Cuts' in May and with GMB NHS representatives rejecting a government pension offer the prospect of industrial action is not out of the question in the UK.

Posted 24/08/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com