Message from secretary

MBA denies safety shame and wants to take away your RDOs

The MBA has shown its true colours with comments in the media that attempt to downplay the latest safety statistics that show the ACT Construction Industry has the worse safety in the nation. Instead of accepting the data and taking actions to address the issues the MBA has attacked the workers compensation system and the role of the union in monitoring safety on-site.

The ACT Government and the CFMEU have worked together to implement many of changes in the Getting Home Safely Report released in November 2012 but for further progress to be achieved the MBA must join in and take action. Bosses need to accept their part in making the industry safe and the MBA needs to lead the cultural changed required by bosses so workers safety and wellbeing are prioritised.

In addition the MBA has recently written to the union to state that industry RDOs are no longer part of the industry. A new attempt to push the Abbott Liberal governments agenda of peeling back workers conditions. The MBA argues that each company should negotiate their own RDOs schedule for the year but we know what this will mean is that RDOs will be used by employers to work around their work priorities not as a benefit for workers who work long hours in a physically demanding industry and want to use their RDOs to spend time with family and friends, and relax.

The irony of the situation is in the recent September lock down weekend a member of the CFMEU staff received an out-of- office message from John Miller the CEO of MBA. The real message is that bosses can enjoy a long weekend on a locked down weekend but not workers.  To add further insult to this move by the MBA they have requested that the MBA golf day be nominated as a RDO on the EBA companies’ calendar. The message is bosses are entitled to a break but not workers.

So prepare yourself for a fight to keep your entitlements. The union will stick up for workers rights but we all need to do it together to make a stand. RDOs are not a tool to be used by bosses to maximise their profits but an entitlement of workers who work hard and long hours and deserve a break throughout the year.