Down with the ABCC
The office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissionerr (ABCC) was created by the Howard Government on in 2005 to enforce its laws and ‘criminalize’ much union-related activity on construction sites. While its brief is to oversee adherence to industrial law, the ABCC conspicuously fails to investigate or prosecute employers underpaying workers or breaching safety regulations. Rather, it targets individual workers involved in union or collective activity not strictly related to EBA negotiations. The ABCC has the power to seek fines against individual workers of up to $22,000 and gag interviewees. Anyone who refuses to cooperate fully faces a potential six-month jail term. More than 92 construction workers have been secretly interrogated by the ABCC. Of them, one is Noel Washington. The Director of Public Prosecution had filed charges against Noel Washington for his refusal to answer to the ABCC, but after sustained protests and actions by unions, the charges have been dropped.
The Rudd Labour Government has promised to keep the ABCC in place until 2010, but unions insist that it should be immediately repealed.
Source: www.rightsonsite.org.au, AAWL
30,000 Australians march to demand abolishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. 2 December 2008.
Photo: Australia’s Construction Unions