ABCC vs unionists

pastedGraphic1 By Viola Wilkins

As well as Dave Kerin being hassled by the Workplace Ombudsman’s Office inquisition there are ongoing ABCC prosecutions.



Earlier this month (May) In Brisbane Queensland unionists from AWU, AMWU, ETU, Plumbers, CFMEU Qld CTU, Unions NSW, Vic THC & ACTU gathered; 50+ delegates in all discussed Australian Building Construction Commission and launched a campaign to abolish ABCC.

In Brisbane 20,000 trade unionists marched on May Day/Labour Day Holiday on Monday May 5th followed union floats through streets to Showgrounds where Unions had stalls; with drinks & bbqs and rides for kids.

Murrie – indigenous – workers and supporters called for their Stolen Wages.


[Editor’s note: ABCC = Australian Building and Construction Commission was introduced prior to WorkChoices legislation to target the building unions. The Rudd Labor government is retaining this commission. See below]

pastedGraphic2 The Cole Royal Commission into the building industry during 2002 was set up by Howard Government to investigate & bust the construction unions. The recommendation set up ABCC with extreme powers using Federal Police like anti-terrorist Laws…; eg require anyone they name to attend compulsory interrogation; failure to attend 6 months jail.
Failure to answer questions at the inquisition; 6 months jail. Speaking to the media about prosecution; 6 months jail.


Basically you can be interrogated about a union meeting and jailed for not giving evidence!

In 2006 107 construction workers from the Perth to Mandurah rail project were the first Australian workers to face prosecution under the Howard Government’s new IR laws and face fines of up to $28,000 each. Their “crime” ? – solidarity – supporting a sacked shop steward.

See also:

Enterprise Bargaining Agreements have to meet ABCC code.

See also:

ALP election platform used community concern at the ABCC and AWAs/individual contracts…since getting elected the ALP has said.

Under attack is right to organise, right of entry for Union officials, right to stop work over health & safety concerns etc
Basically this represses your right to free association which the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights states:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. …

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and
association. …”


“The workers engaged in unlawful industrial action because they failed to attend the site for work on 8 July 2005.
The Commissioner observed that:

“I expect the report, coupled with condemnation of ‘blue flu’ practices will send a strong message that the orchestrated abuse of sick leave entitlements for industrial purposes is unjustifiable and unlawful.”

4 unionists working on a building site stopped work as site unsafe, inspected and work in other safe areas until made safe. Bovis Lend Lease sent their names to ABCC…more examples see

Qld meeting agreed to Focus on:

* Industrial – at workplaces

* Political – lobby politicians eg letters to each and all to state
their position on ABCC and thus will they campaign to abolish ABCC and
image Unions to affiliate & donate to ALP and members to locally vote for
them ?

* Education to community eg Media campaign which unions fund like
anti-Howard regime’s AWAs “Your Rights At Work” campaign

CFMEU leaflet: CFMEU official Noel Washington has declined to be interviewed by ABCC.
The ABCC has asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to put Noel in court.


* Education * Organisation * EMANCIPATION


Other References:

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