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.
The Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has called for import restrictions to be slapped on companies found to have manufactured building products that do not comply with Australian Standards.
A media report in today’s Australian newspaper details legal action over a fire at an apartment building in Docklands, Melbourne. It is claimed the fire was the caused by unsafe imported building products.
The union said it was time the Federal Government took a hard line.
#standforsafety - Construction worker deaths up 64 per cent; families, workers, gather to commemorate International Workers Memorial Day
The number of construction workers who died on the job in Australia rose by 64 per cent in 2014.
The latest data from Safe Work Australia shows that last year, 28 workers in the construction industry alone died at work, compared to 17 in 2013.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union National President, Tony Maher, joined families who have lost loved ones due to workplace accidents, and injured workers, at a ceremony at the National Workers Memorial in Canberra, to commemorate International Workers’ Memorial Day.
Yesterday’s finding by the Fair Work Ombudsman that a group of exploited Chinese and Filipino workers will receive $873,000 in backpay after being exploited by their employer Chia Tung is welcome, but far more needs to be done to bring the company to account and achieve justice for the workers.
The CFMEU, who brought the workers’ plight to the attention of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), said that given the extent of the abuses the company perpetrated against these vulnerable workers, the mere recovery of wages was not enough.
Since its origins in Canada in the 1980s, International Workers Memorial Day on 28 April has become a global occasion of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.
Globally, the International Labour Organisation estimates that 2.34 million people die each year from work-related accidents and diseases. From these fatalities, the majority or 2.02 million are from occupational and work-related diseases. Hazardous substances kill 440,000 workers annually – asbestos claims 100,000 lives.
A large block of stone has plummeted 25 metres from a Grocon building site at Martin Place in the second near-miss at the busy CBD site in just under two months.
The accident happened at the busiest time of day and according to CFMEU Safety Co-ordinator Mick Preston it is pure luck no one was killed.
The stone narrowly missed six workers on its way down and caused extensive damage to scaffolding before it landed just centimetres inside the site boundary.
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The CFMEU construction division is today announcing its proposal for an impairment policy in the industry. The policy – which for the first time includes a proposal for drug and alcohol testing - focuses on safety in the workplace.
CFMEU National Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said the union was consulting with the membership about the policy and stressed that testing was just one component of their proposal. “
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