The Trade Union Royal Commission has kicked off its Brisbane leg with a demonstration of extreme anti-union bias, the CFMEU said today.
CFMEU National Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said today’s key witness was an anti-union boss motivated by cutting workers’ entitlements to save money.
“Albert Smith has been given star billing at the Royal Commission today. He is a boss who can’t back up his claims against the union and who admitted his agenda was to cut costs on worker entitlements,” said Mr Noonan.
Evidence heard today in the Trade Union Royal Commission in Sydney referred to two companies – the Lis-Con group of companies and the George Alex group of companies. Both companies owed money to workers.
The union pursued the entitlements of workers from both these companies. The CFMEU secured $600,000 in unpaid super from Lis-‐Con and $900,000 in workers entitlements from the Alex group of companies.
In his opening statement on behalf of the CFMEU this morning John Agius SC called for the Commission to investigate how the media became aware of certain details pertaining to the proceedings about which the CFMEU itself was not yet aware.
His opening statement can be read here.
The Australian community – including unions and union members – who've campaigned for the retention of the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC) have chalked up a major victory for working people today, with the Palmer United Party indicating it will join Labor, the Greens and other Senators in not supporting the removal of the concession.
The CFMEU has welcomed Clive Palmer's announcement today that his Party will join with Senators Madigan and Xenophon in not supporting the repeal of the LISC as part of the abolition of the mining tax.
This morning Dave Noonan spoke with Jon Faine regarding allegations that have been made in the media regarding the CFMEU Vic branch. These allegations are a smoke screen and a ramp up for the Royal Commission hearings to be held in Victoria next week. Hear what Dave Noonan had to say about it this morning:
The CFMEU has today received media inquiries from several media outlets regarding claims that will allegedly be aired in Tony Abbott’s Royal Commission in hearings next week.
According to the leaked information to journalists, the commission will show a so-called “explosive” video of Victorian Secretary John Setka at a meeting regarding the Pentridge Prison construction site.
Other allegations about the employment of Mr Setka’s friend and a brother-in-law will also reportedly be made.
Employers will have easier access to 457 visas for Korean workers while Australian workers will have fewer protections and less job security under the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA).
Under KAFTA, the Abbott Government has committed to granting 457 visas to Korean nationals with certain trade, technical or professional skills with no employer obligation to first look for qualified Australian workers, and no requirement to prove that none were available.
But in a submission to a Parliamentary inquiry looking into the deal, the CFMEU has argued that the loose wording of the Agreement would cover all Korean workers at trade level and above.
The CFMEU has condemned Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) Director Nigel Hadgkiss, after he admitted filming workers at rallies in order to take legal action against them.
CFMEU National Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said the covert filming of people for attending protests smacks of a heavy handed and authoritarian approach.
“It is appalling that the government sanctions this attack on the democratic right of people to protest.”
Mr Hadgkiss admitted to the surveillance at a Budget Estimates hearing in Canberra yesterday.
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