By EMMA CORNFORD
THE message was 'stand together' yesterday as union members across the Clarence Valley watched a live hook-up outlining the Howard Government's proposed Industrial Relations reforms.
Around 375 people, including Country Energy workers, teachers, nurses and timber workers, attended the meeting at the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club while around 200 were present at the Maclean meeting.
Grafton High casual teacher Linda Ruthven said she had attended the meeting to find out exactly how the proposed changes would affect her.
"I thought it was extremely clear and they were basically telling it like it is," Ms Ruthven said.
"I didn't think there was any scaremongering ? they were just saying to wake up and have a look at what's going on. And that's the most important thing because otherwise everything will be brought in and made law before people realise what's happened."
Grafton meeting organiser John Hickson said he was pleased with the response.
"With a turnout of 375 it was brilliant. I think there's a lot of apathy out there in the workforce with people thinking things won't change for them but I think this explained that it will," he said.
"This will be the biggest fight the union will ever have."