The Federal Government’s failure to respond to a request to have the Shoalhaven paper mill workers’ skills formally recognised has added insult to injury, the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union (the CFMEU) said today.
Time is now officially running out for the Shoalhaven paper workers, with the company announcing today the staggered closure of the Mill with the majority of workers departing on 31 July, 2015. The workers’ skills can only be assessed while the Mill is operating.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union expressed its disappointment that the Senate has passed a bill to retain coercive powers of the building industry regulator.
The laws will mean that construction workers will be the only workers in the country who could be forced against their will into providing evidence.
The union said the Bill discriminates against construction workers, who were dying in increasing numbers on the job. In 2014, 28 workers in the construction industry alone died at work, compared to 17 in 2013.
The Fair Work Building and Construction agency’s Nigel Hadgkiss has taken legal action against CFMEU official David Kirner and the union for going onto an Adelaide site to assist in a suicide intervention involving one of its members.
On the eve of the Senate vote on the reintroduction of the discredited ABCC, the FWBC is trying to sue the union over a visit to the South Australian Medical Health and Research Institute site in November 2013.
"The FWBC is already operating as a rogue regulator. Bringing back the ABCC would be horrifying for workers’ safety," Mr Kirner said.
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