ABCC remains

ABCC hangs on, but legislation to scrap it will be debated early next year

from Dave Noonan CFMEU

Despite our best efforts, the ABCC has received a stay of execution. The legislation introduced by the Labor Government to scrap it was not debated this year, and won’t be back in Parliament until February at the earliest. So the fight continues in 2012.

Some members of the crossbenches have said they need some more time to consider the Bill and we will continue to talk with them and explain the importance of abolishing this throwback to the days of WorkChoices.

Others, such as Bob Katter and Andrew Wilkie support the abolition of the ABCC.

The Greens have indicated that they believe that the legislation should go further by abolishing coercive powers completely.

In the meantime, the conservatives and their attack dogs have been out in force seeking to defend this organisation’s outrageous attacks on working people.

Only last week former ABCC Commissioner, John Lloyd, demanded that new Minister for Workplace Relations Bill Shorten abandon the Government’s commitment to abolish the ABCC.

Lloyd was recently presented with the Charles Copeland Medal by the extreme right wing H.R.Nicolls Society and has been employed by the Institute of Public Affairs, another union basing think tank.

Remember, this is the person who claimed to be an apolitical, unbiased public servant!

This is the same person who held the right to use coercive powers against construction workers, and did so illegally on 203 occasions.

Also in the last week the Parliamentary Library has made this significant observation comparing the fines that may be levied against Qantas to the fines that have been levied against building workers and their unions:

“To put the general and building regulatory systems in perspective, should the Qantas’ actions to ground its airlines be held as illegal industrial action under the Fair Work Act31, the maximum fines it may face (per offence), would be one third the maximum fines (per offence) faced by the CFMEU taking illegal industrial action on building sites. Should public support continue to swing toward the role of tribunals with greater conciliation aims as opposed to having, on balance, greater inquisitional or litigious functions, there may be grounds for the ABCC’s proposed replacement to progress.

Over 1000 emails were sent to MPs calling for the scrapping of coercive powers within 48 hours of our last message to supporters. This shows the anger the ABCC and its illegal interrogations have provoked among construction workers, their friends and families.

We will be seeking your support for the final campaign to achieve equality for construction workers in early 2012.

To see earlier posts put in ABCC in search.


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