2 thoughts on “‘Framework of Flesh’ Book Launch at WorkLife

  1. CFMEU member charged by ABCC says:

    Rank and file CFMEU member to be prosecuted for refusing ABCC interview; Westgate deal reached, but ABCC refuses to settle Source Workplace Express (an IR club e-list), 15 May 2009.

    A rank and file CFMEU member in South Australia has become the second person to face charges for refusing to attend an interview with the ABCC.

    The ABCC today confirmed it had referred a prosecution brief to the Commonwealth DPP over the construction worker’s refusal to answer questions in connection with alleged unlawful industrial action at a building site in the State in May 2008.

    The Adelaide Magistrates Court has issued a summons to the worker and the matter is set down for mention on June 9 this year.

    According to an ABCC report on the exercise of its compliance powers to March 31, 2009, the worker refused to comply with a notice to attend for an interview issued under s52 of the BCCI Act in October last year.

    “After the witness had failed to attend, the ABCC provided the witness with an opportunity to explain why a brief for prosecution should not be forwarded to the CDPP. The witness did not provide the ABCC with a response,” it says.

    While the identity of the man has not to be released, the CFMEU (construction and general division) SA branch today confirmed that one of its rank and file members was being prosecuted.

    CFMEU state secretary Martin O’Malley said the member was “just an ordinary bloke on the tools who doesn’t see why he should dob in his mates and go along with laws that are absolutely wrong”.
    “A guy like that, he doesn’t see much sense in why he was out there trying to change the government a couple of years ago and now he’s up in court from a John Howard law under a Labor Government,” he said.

    He said the workers involved in the alleged unlawful industrial action that caused the ABCC to issue the s52 notice were seeking safer conditions on the job.

    The union has and would continue to provide the worker with any support he needed throughout the legal process, he said. He faces a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail if he is convicted on the charge.

    CFMEU Victorian senior vice-president Noel Washington was the first person to face prosecution for refusing to be interviewed by the ABCC, but the Commonwealth DPP dropped the charge six days before the trial was set to commence (see related article).

    Westgate deal reached, but ABCC refuses to settle
    Meanwhile, John Holland today discontinued its legal proceedings against the CFMEU (construction and general division) and the AMWU after they reached an agreement to settle their dispute over the Westgate Bridge upgrade project.

    But the ABCC’s has refused to drop its claims against the unions over the dispute, a decision the CFMEU says could threaten industrial harmony on the project.

    It was 32 former labour-hire workers whose dismissal triggered the escalation of the dispute.

    The remaining 10 workers, all of whom face police charges stemming from their conduct during the dispute, would be offered $10,000 to walk away from the project, or, if they were found innocent, given the opportunity to participate in the reconciliation process with a view to possible employment.

    CFMEU state secretary Bill Oliver says the agreement is a good outcome for all the employees (who endorsed the deal this morning) and all the unions on the job.

    “What was achieved was a very successful outcome – the working conditions and rates of pay on that job are better and I believe the three unions (the CFMEU, the AMWU and the AWU) will end up signing up to one agreement,” he says.

    However, he criticised the ABCC’s refusal to discontinue its proceedings against the unions and some organisers and workers.

    “The tough cop on the beat, as Julia Gillard likes to call it, is once again standing in the way of progress and causing confrontation,” he says.

    He says the unions were this morning successful in having the Federal Court temporarily lift some of the injunctions that have been issued in proceedings for seven days and that they would be back in court on Wednesday to continue the argument.

  2. Title: Worklife Film evening and McQueen Book Launch

    Date: Thursday May 28, 2009
    Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

    Location: Paddington Workers Centre, 2 Latrobe Tce, Paddington

    6:45 The Willmar 8 – fascinating documentary story of the longest Bank Workers strike in US history.

    8:00 Humphrey McQueen speaks to launch the first volume of his history of the BLF – Framework of Flesh – Builders Labourers battle for health and safety.

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