Against Grocon

I reproduce some reports in support of the CFMEU. I rarely read the capitalist press, except for a few days recently. I was aghast at the massive lies against the CFMEU and pro-Daniel Grollo and his inherited $800 million Grocon in the Australian and the Australian Financial Review.

CFMEU: In case you have not read this, Grocon is trying to smash workers rights.
• The right to wear union stickers and clothing
• The right to have real safety and union reps
• The right to talk to your union organiser without interference
• The right to put up a union poster in the lunch shed
For too long Grocon has denied workers these freedoms. To enforce his rules on an unhappy workforce, Daniel Grollo employs a team of management heavies led by a former nightclub bouncer.
The CFMEU has never accepted this bullying and intimidation. We thought we had solved the problem in April when Daniel Grollo shook hands with CFMEU leaders on a deal. This would have guaranteed workers on Grocon sites the same rights as all other construction workers.
Sadly, Grollo welshed on this deal leading to the current impasse.
If Grocon gets away with its bullying and intimidation, workers on their sites will be under the thumb and be driven like slaves. Other builders will try to follow suit.
Read more here:

Here is an update: a good analysis from Sue Bolton.

Here are some of my comments. “I wrote this some years ago about the Building and Construction laws. Using Orwell illustrates how the corporate rich and capitalist media and politicians classify legitimate union action here the CFMEU as “unlawful”, such as defending in the Grocon struggle what should be a worker’s right to elect OHS representatives, the right to have union badges, the right of workers to have entry by union officials, the right to strike against an employer who is in breach etc

‘One use of ˜doublethink is to label justifiable union organising which is not unlawful, or to be more specific, which is lawful, to be deemed by political opponents as ˜inappropriate. Legislative changes are pushed (here by PM Howard and maintained by Rudd/Gillard ) which transforms that which is ˜inappropriate into that which is ˜unlawful”.

Through the interplay of ˜unlawful” and “inappropriate” the vice of doublethink is played out. That which is lawful is unlawful. Or at other times the interplay of “permissible and not permissible” and applies to ˜protected/unprotected” action and so on applied to all legitimate industrial action.
So I hope this gives some understanding. Howard/Abbott made CFMEU union action “unlawful”. And note that Gillard keeps Howard’s anti-union laws

So now the employer Grocon can bring in the police.

And so this union action is condemned by Labor Minister Shorten.

But these bad anti-union labour laws have to be broken.

See earlier post

Here is article on the media.

When in any reasonable IR system the police play no role, in Victoria the Police state is trying to enforce rich corporate boss Grocon’s anti-unionism – the struggle escalates.
Up to 1,000 cops – including riot squad, critical incident response group and mounted police – were mobilised this morning to break a construction union picket line in the CBD. They failed. The picket has been running for 10 days, ostensibly over the right of workers to choose their own site representatives.

Victoria police Commander Rick Nugent said officers were brought to help: “It’s about the workers. So we want to safely assist them.
We were concerned for the safety of our people and the safety of the employees… The clear objective for us was to take control of the work site and enable the employees to safely go about their work.”

No one in the real world was convinced by Nugent’s words.

The company reported that 30 workers were assisted into the site by the police. It is rubbish. Those entering the site were suits from management and a couple of their stooges. The massive show of state force was a failure – not because the hundreds of gathered unionists fought the police back, as they had done on Tuesday – but because no scab was game enough to face their fellow workers on the line today.

There is power in a union!

A good analysis here
Australia: Police attack picketing building workers
By Terry Cook and Mike Head
29 August 2012
In what business leaders have declared a “major test” of industrial relations, more than 200 police in riot gear were dispatched on Tuesday in a bid to break a construction workers’ picket line outside a large building project in Melbourne. Police horses were used against picketing workers and capsicum spray was fired at them, before workers pushed the police contingent back.
Several hundred workers from other construction sites had downed tools and rushed to the Grocon company’s Myer-Colonial First site after being alerted that police were mustering to escort management personnel and other workers through the picket line.
The police violence sparked solidarity meetings on Grocon and other major construction sites in Sydney and Brisbane, where hundreds of workers from the Abigroup Children’s Hospital project marched through the city yesterday. In the face of this anger, building industry trade union leaders have threatened to call a state-wide strike in Victoria if police try to break the Melbourne picket line again.Read the whole article here

Here is ACTU statement on a worker’s right of representation.
“The fundamental issue at Grocon is that management is refusing to allow workers from having a say about who represents them on health and safety and other issues in the workplace,” Ms Kearney said.

“This sort of blacklisting and bans on things like stickers and posters in the workplace does not belong in Australia and is a breach of the rights to freedom of association.”