Archive for 'Building unions'
There was another death recently that we didn’t hear much from the media about. On Tuesday a 24-year-old electrician at Dallas in Melbourne’s north was electrocuted on a building site. Not much mass media reporting, no mass outpouring of grief, no questioning why, and certainly no campaign in the media calling for tougher criminal sanctions against employers for deaths on site or for better policing of safety on building sites.
Sensibly, and viewed rationally, the best people to police safety on building sites would be the workers and their unions, that runs counter to the narrative of the capitalist class in its attempts to smash the building unions, especially the CFMEU, precisely because they defend their members against the bosses and their rapacious and dangerous drive for profit.
Building unions challenge putting profit before people. That is why the government and bosses want to smash them. The media as part of the cabal of capital won’t publish stories or analysis which challenges this fundamental attack on unions because these unions put people before profits and fight for safety on sites.
To save lives on building sites would mean empowering workers and their unions. Defending building unions is literally a life or death matter.
The CFMEU is a major target of the Royal Commission witch hunt into unions precisely because it is one of the few unions left in Australia today that actually stands up for and fights for its members. The MBA’s safety smear campaign and the clearly anti-union and political nature of the charges against Lomax show that the building industry bosses and their state apparatchiks will stop at nothing in their quest to put profit before people.
Posted by John, September 2nd, 2015 - under 7-Eleven, Abbott government, ABCC, Building industry, Building unions, Building workers, CFMEU, Fair Work Australia, Royal Commission into unions, SDA.
It is all about priorities, and making sure that bosses don’t rip off their workers isn’t a priority for the Abbott government in Australia. Destroying the CMFEU, one of the few unions that fights to defend its members, is. If the government can do that it makes the climate even better to drive down wages and cut conditions in other industries across Australia. 7-Eleven is a microcosm of Australia’s industrial relations. What Abbott and his hired anti-CFMEU puppets in the Fair Work industry want is a cowered and compliant building workforce a la 7-Eleven. They want workers to work longer for less, just like the 7-Eleven bosses have been doing, with the same result – more profit for the bosses.
This is a letter I sent to the Canberra Times on Thursday. John It appears that in the pre-selection process Minister Simon Corbell has lost support among many ACT Labor Party Left faction members. (Kirsten Lawson, ‘Ructions over Corbell exit’ The Canberra Times 27 August page 1.) I have some suggestions to Simon to help […]
Here is one photo from the 150 strong demonstration of support for building union organiser Johnny Lomax, charged with blackmail for the ‘crime’ of winning a pay rise for workers. If you look closely enough you might be able to see me.
CFMEU building union Canberra organiser Johnny Lomax has been arrested. His crime? Negotiating and securing improvements in working conditions and wages for union members. This is a direct attack from the Abbott Government on our ability to protect our wages and our safety at work. We will be gathering outside the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday at 8.40 am to cheer Johnny on in solidarity as he enters to face these malicious and outrageous charges. See you there. If you are in Canberra or nearby come along to support a union which actually fights for its members and help stop this blatant attack on unions and their ability to organise.
It was disappointing to see Jack Waterford repeat the tired Tory tropes about the CFMEU’s ‘manipulation’ of safety issues as a justification for an ICAC in the ACT. (‘Clearly the ACT needs its own ICAC’ Forum page 1 The Canberra Times Saturday 1 August.) While the ACT does need its own ICAC, deaths and serious injuries on building sites across the Territory show in fact that what we need to save lives is a safety regime run by the unions, the only people with an overriding interest in building workers’ health and safety. The Royal Commission witch-hunt into the CFMEU is designed to destroy them precisely because the union does win better wages and campaign for safety. Jack has fallen for the bosses’ lies.
This is part of a letter I sent on Sunday to the Canberra Times on the arrest and charging of building union organiser John Lomax. ‘Unionists and union leaders should be very very worried about this attempted criminalisation of industrial activity. If successful it will undermine every union in Australia. The charges against Lomax are an attack on unionism.’
This is just some of the ‘evidence’ Abbott used to justify his recently announced police taskforce witch hunt into the building union, the CFMEU. It would be laughable if it weren’t so serious.
Briggs identified the real problem when she said that profit cannot come before safety on building sites any more. However proft does come first, and will continue to come before safety. That is what the ABCC is about. It is what smashing union industrial campaigns for safety on site are about.
Can we cull the business sharks who kill building workers? The best way to ensure there is safety on building sites is to give the workers power to cut off the flow of profits to the bosses, without loss of pay, when sites are unsafe, or for workers to take that power.