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.
Statement from the CFMEU National Secretary, Michael O’Connor, in response to allegations made under Parliamentary privilege
The CFMEU has called on Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) Director Nigel Hadgkiss to go to the police with allegations that female FWBC staff were threatened with rape.
These allegations were first raised by Mr Hadgkiss in a Senate Estimates Committee hearing three weeks ago, and were repeated by Senator Abetz in Federal Parliament yesterday (Senate Question Time).
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