100,000 people shut down Melbourne
Melbourne's city streets were shut down by protesters as 100,000 workers marched in "peaceful assembly" for better wages and increased job security.
Premier Daniel Andrews joined the Change the Rules rally at Trades Hall in Carlton at about 10.30am. Those marching will travel down Russell St, then La Trobe St, Swanston St and Bourke St.
The rally ends with a march along Spring St towards Victoria's parliament before it wraps up about 1pm, with a number of streets shut down until about 1.30pm.
The protest is not expected to cause as much traffic chaos as Monday's protest of vegan activists because the unionists' rally has been organised in consultation with police. Furthermore, today's demonstration avoids peak hour traffic.
Mr Andrews marched alongside the workers as part of the Australian Council of Trade Unions' nationwide Change the Rules campaign.
"I won't be chaining myself to anything, and I think that protest will have had conversations with authorities about how working people can make their point without completely disrupting the city," the Premier told the Herald Sun.
Unions say the Federal Government has overseen the largest decline in living standards in 30 years and workers will rally in 14 centres across the nation.
Trades Hall secretary Luke Hilakari wrote on Twitter that workers needed to stand up for themselves if they wanted to see something change.
"Feet on the street tomorrow," he wrote. "If you want a better working life, then now is the time to go out and get it. Not just for us but for every generation that comes after."
The protest comes two days after animal right protests shut down parts of the Melbourne CBD. More than 100 people gathered in the middle of the Swanston and Flinders street intersection to raise awareness for a documentary about Australia's meat industry.
The protesters did not give Victoria Police any warning before blocking traffic for several hours.
Victoria Police Superintendent David Clayton said he was disappointed and concerned by the lack of engagement with police.
Several ambulances travelling to and from Melbourne's five major trauma hospitals had to be re-routed around the protest and commuters were forced to walk as trams and cars were blocked from passing through.
Thirty-nine people were arrested, including three teenagers, and all have been bailed to appear before the Melbourne Magistrates' Court.
Victoria Police said in a statement today they will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour at the Change the Rules rally.
Organisers say it will be a peaceful march.