Friday, April 14, 2017

Unions push to limit scope of ideologically motivated building code

13 April 2017

A meeting of unions currently affected by the Turnbull Government’s sprawling building code have met today and determined that they will work to roll back the aspects of the code which exceed the bounds of the Fair Work Act, and ultimately will endeavour to have the code repealed.

The far reaching nature of the code means that representatives from the CPSU- SPSF, TCFUA, NUW, AMWU, AWU, CFMEU, ETU, MUA, ASU, TWU all attended.

The group discussed how the code has removed many rights including any right to bargain for minimum apprentice positions in agreements and for priority to be given to local unemployed workers in new roles over temporary migrant workers. The code also effectively increases the ability for employers to further casualise and outsource their workforce.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:

  • “Affiliated unions raised concerns that the far reaching nature of the code may mean pressure being applied to workers to change agreements in areas as peripheral to commercial construction as Zoos that employ in house builders and receive commonwealth money for capital improvements, electricity networks and social housing.”
  • “The ACTU will be asking the senate to disallow any aspect of the code that bans matters from agreements that are currently allowable under the Fair Work Act.”
  • “The code is a devious and underhanded way of restricting workers’ rights to genuinely reach agreements with employers and represents an attempt to further wind back workers’ rights, not just in commercial construction, but across whole sectors of the Australian economy and society which are not generally considered as being in “the building industry”.

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