Qld Building Unions call statewide stoppages and rallies for Friday, September 12

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Anti-ABCC rally NEXT Fri 12 Sept & letters to the editor

Dear Colleagues,

Construction unions across Australia are running the Rights On Site campaign against the union-bashing ABCC. Workers in the construction industry deserve the same rights as all workers and this Friday there is a rally in Brisbane calling for the abolition of the ABCC, and in support of Victorian union activist Noel Washington.

Attached is a flyer for the rally this Friday – please distribute broadly through your networks and attend the rally to support our fellow unionists in the construction industry.

The QCU is also encouraging unionists to respond to negative media portrayals of construction workers and write ‘letters to-the-editor’ and participate in radio talk-back, advocating that construction workers receive the same rights as other workers. Below is the letter sent to The Australian today by QCU General Secretary Ron Monaghan.

More information about the Rights On Site campaign is available at www.rightsonsite.org.au .

In unity,

Matthew Rocks

Coordinator, Campaigns and Organising

Queensland Council of Unions

m: 0407 863 389   t: +61 7 3846 2468   f: +61 7 3844 4865   e: matthewr@qcu.asn.au w:  www.qcu.asn.au

***

WorkLife Meeting report

By Jim McIlroy

BRISBANE — The Queensland branch of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has called statewide stoppages and rallies for Friday September 12, 2008 the day Victorian CFMEU official Noel Washington faces an initial hearing in Geelong over charges brought by the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), according to Qld CFMEU assistant secretary Peter Close. Close was addressing a meeting and showing of the film Constructing Fear, which exposes the draconian, anti-union nature of the ABCC, organised by WorkLife at the Paddington Workers Centre here on August 28.

The Brisbane rally will be held at 9.30am on that day, in Queens Park, with other rallies to be held in Townsville and other towns around the state. The union is calling for support from other unions and the public for their campaign to defend Noel Washington and to call on the Rudd government to completely abolish the ABCC.

“Kevin Rudd gave a commitment before the last election to abolish the ABCC, but workers are still being intimidated, fined and possibly jailed under the former Howard’s government’s anti-worker legislation,” Close told the meeting. The Greens are currently presenting a bill before the Senate to close down the ABCC, and unions are putting pressure on ALP parliamentarians to support the measure, Close added.

“For the first time, we have a united campaign by all unions in the building industry on this issue,” Close said. “We have said to Labor Party MPs, if you don’t support us, we won’t support you in the next election.”

WorkLife has resolved to support the union action on September 12, and continue its publicity campaign to educate the community about the threat posed by the ABCC to basis democratic rights. For more information, visit http://www.rightsonsite.org.au/.

2 thoughts on “Qld Building Unions call statewide stoppages and rallies for Friday, September 12

  1. To the Editor

    The Australian newspaper

    On average one building worker dies every week on Australian building sites. It’s an appalling record of loss of life and untold family grief. Sadly, much of it is preventable.

    But this is not the story that makes page one of Monday’s edition of The Australian. The story that achieves such status is about alleged verbal abuse on one worksite.

    Australia’s union leadership does not support abuse of any kind in the workplace. It is unacceptable. However, let’s turn our attention to provable, recorded loss of life.

    Workers must have the right to stop work when they have safety concerns. Our laws allow this and put the onus of proof on the employer to ensure safety – except in the construction industry. You would think such protection is most needed on building sites.

    The Howard Government’s laws reverse the onus of proof and this law must be overturned.

    When construction workers are given the same legal protection as other workers when it comes to their safety, then we can focus on who’s yelling at who on the job.

    Construction workers are sick of seeing their mates die in unsafe workplaces and they’re sick of having fewer rights than other workers in far safer workplaces.

    Ron Monaghan

    General Secretary

    Queensland Council of Unions

    Like

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