Construction Workers Down Tools, Union Faces Court Action

cfmeu

Following the August 19th downing of tools on 6 construction sites operated by a construction company, 3 CFMEU representatives are facing fines of up to $10 800 per breach for 50 alleged breaches of the Fair Work Act.

The union representatives apparently instructed workers to walk off site and not return until Monday because the company had employed subcontractors that didn’t have union enterprise bargaining agreements.

Nigel Hadgkiss of Fair Work Building and Construction said it was not fair to discriminate against subcontractors based on workplace agreements.

Read more about the charges at: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/cfmeu-facing-court-action-after-construction-workers-walk-off-job-20161030-gse48m.html

Unions Planned Strikes against Contractor Banned

281916-cfmeu-marchThe Fair Work Building Commission has successfully brought an injunction against the CFMEU in Federal Court, temporarily banning a planned month long spate of strikes outside sites run by a major Brisbane builder.

The watchdog alleges several CFMEU officials targeted 9 of the builders’ sites and disrupted work 15 times in the last few months.

The union has been accused of disrupting crucial works on sites such as concrete pouring by conducting meetings without notice, lasting 2 hours. Workers are permitted to attend these “information meetings” as part of their enterprise bargaining agreement.

The dispute between the union and the builders revolves around the builder not consulting with the union and using non-EBA subcontractors.

The injunction was for a limited time only and expired on October 11, at 4:15pm.

Read more at https://sourceable.net/cfmeu-qld-strikes-against-builder-banned/

Three Construction Fatalities in 4 Days

ambulance
Source: www.theage.com.au

There have been 3 fatalities in the construction industry in a short period of time, just 4 days which has brought the issue of safety into the spotlight.

In the first accident, 2 workers were killed when a 9 tonne concrete panel being installed fell and crushed them. The 2 men were trapped in a pit, with no where to run.

The panels were being erected without a Safe Work Method Statement and it is believed elementary precautions were absent.

In another senseless tragedy a German woman on a working holiday visa was killed after falling 13 floors on a building site in Perth’s CBD.

The woman was apparently applying silicone to the joints of a precast panel when the accident occurred. The woman was working close to the edge, without a safety harness.  Find out more at: https://sourceable.net/three-dead-construction-workers-in-four-days/

Days wasted due to Industrial Action

cashAccording to Employment Minister Michaelia Cash, the number of days lost to industrial action due to the construction union is evident of the fact that the construction watchdog needs to be reinstated.

Minister Cash says there is a need to bring back the Australian Building and Construction Commission in order to tackle rogue unions.

She highlighted the more than 100 representatives of the CFMEU who appeared before the courts in recent years, with more than $8.25 million in fines being imposed on the union and its officials.

She also reminds us that the rate of industrial action in the construction sector is 5 times higher than the average across all industries.

Read more at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/why-we-build-the-worlds-most-expensive-buildings/news-story/72e8a9393b2ee104d889edaac45b2fdc

Death of SA Teen on Construction Site Avoidable

hospital site

While the death of any construction worker on the job is tragic, it is particularly concerning when young workers who are new to the job are killed and their bright futures are cut short.

This is what happened on an Adelaide construction site in Fullarton recently. A wall collapse, causing a timber frame to fall onto a 17 year old worker.

The young man was rushed to hospital for treatment of critical head injuries.

The CFMEU recently spoke out about the incident, describing it as preventable. Apparently the site displayed a troubling lack of safety, with workers not even wearing hard hats. This probably played a crucial role in the death of the young man.

Even sites where safety regulations are adhered to need to pay particular attention to young workers whose inexperience is a liability to their safety. They need adequate training and supervision.

See more at: https://sourceable.net/sa-teen-building-death-preventable-cfmeu/

Is Thuggery Scaring Women Off from Construction?

women

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has joined with other politicians calling for the reinstatement of the construction industry watchdog, The Australian Building and Construction Commission to return the rule of law to the industry, a move he says will help attract more women to the industry.

The Prime Minister says union thuggery is partly to blame for the shortage of female workers on construction sites.

He was speaking in Beenleigh, south of Brisbane at the launch of a Master Builder’s program to attract more women to the industry.

The PM said the initiative ‘Advancing Women in Building and Construction Program’ , would help women get into the male dominated construction industry and help highlight other concerns plaguing the industry such as bullying and thuggery. Read more at https://sourceable.net/unions-driving-women-out-of-construction/

Construction Union Gets $1M Fine

cfmeu
Source: publicityworks.com.au

The country’s largest construction union and more than a dozen of its officials have been fined almost$1 million over a number of industrial  breaches at construction sites in Adelaide.

On Friday the Federal Court handed down judgements over offences committed at 1o construction sites. The union was fined $856,000 and 15 officials were fined $81,000 collectively.

Sites where the offences were committed include Adelaide Oval, Flinders University and Adelaide Convention Centre between October 2013 and May 2014. Source: https://sourceable.net/cfmeu-fined-almost-1m-over-breaches/#

Why the CFMEU and MBA Are Squabbling

masterbuilders
Source: www.masterbuilders.com.au

It seems the one thing the CFMEU and Master Builders Association can agree on is that a lack of co-operation is to blame for deteriorating workplace safety.

In an article on CanberraTimes.com.au, the lack of co-operation between the groups was highlghted but each entity blames the other.

The disagreement between the 2 groups seems to have been spurred on by the release of statistics by Safe Work Australia which indicated a drop in the number of serious workplace injuries.

The rate of compensation claims is also down in the ACT with six claims last year for every million hours worked, which is a significant improvement from 3 years prior.

Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/squabbling-erupts-despite-fall-in-work-injury-numbers-across-the-act-20151125-gl8d00.html

CFMEU Official Considers Lawsuit over Withdrawn Blackmail Charge

CFMEU official John Lomax is said to be considering launching a malicious prosecution lawsuit over a blackmail charge against him after it was dropped.

Mr Lomax was charged with blackmail in August, but the charges were recently dropped. He is now considering his options against the police.

cfmeu
Source: publicityworks.com.au 

In related news The CFMEU’s ACT branch is taking the state’s policing to court over raids on its Canberra office.

Police were seeking evidence of blackmail and bribery crimes  at the time but the union claims the raid was unlawful.

Read the full story at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-19/cfmeu-john-lomax-considers-lawsuit-over-withdrawn-charge/6866098

CFMEU Welcomes Senate Defeat of ABCC Bill

cfmeu
Source: publicityworks.com.au

The recent failure of the federal government to have the Australian Building and Construction Commission reinstated has been cheered by the CFMEU.

The union welcomed news that a senate vote had defeated the bill to have the construction industry watchdog brought back after it was done away with by the previous government.

The government has vowed to continue to work to have the watchdog reinstated despite this setback, because it believes illegal activities are rife within the industry.

See more here.