The Turnbull Government’s decision to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) has been met with heavy criticism by the CFMEU, which said the bill would further diminish the “civil and industrial rights” of Australian workers.
CFMEU National Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said that with the passing of the bill through a backdoor deal with One Nation, Senators Nick Xenophon and Derry Hinch, the senate effectively “sold out” the rights of 1 million Australian workers.
“These are laws that will take away rights, will endanger safety and conditions for ordinary workers in the industry. We know this because we’ve been here before and that’s what happened,” Mr Noonan said.
“These laws destroy important protections.”
The ABCC bill removes the right of silence for construction workers, bans workers, unions and employers agreeing to limit casualisation, and prohibits workers, unions and employers from promoting the employment of apprentices.
It also bans unions and employers agreeing to safe hours of work or any limitation at all on excessive overtime, prohibits employees seeking the assistance of their union on safety issues on building sites and bans measures that give workers job security.
Mr Noonan said the union will continue to fight for its members and for better conditions for workers in the industry.
“We will also continue to fight for an end to bad and discriminatory laws that favours the interests of big property developers and multinational construction companies over the interests of ordinary working Australian,” Mr Noonan added.
“These are bad laws and that’s why it has taken the government three years to pass them.”
Mr Noonan also thanked former Senators John Madigan, Ricky Muir, Glenn Lazarus and Jacqui Lambie for not succumbing to the pressure from the Government to pass the bill.
“They deserve to be congratulated for staying true to their principles and for voting down laws that are essentially an ideological attack on construction workers,” he concluded.