13 June 2019

The Ensuring Integrity Bill is about making sure that fit and proper people are in charge of unions and employer organisations, not bullies and thugs.

 “Attacks on the Bill as anti-union are way off base. Rights and obligations govern our society and when obligations are repeatedly flouted, then rights are restricted. Unions and union officials should be no different to the rest of the community,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

“Master Builders has strongly and consistently backed the Bill for this reason, and we are encouraged by reports that the Government will it bring it back before the Parliament,” she said.

“The Opposition Leader deserves credit for his public repudiation of John Setka’s behaviour past and present, but he cannot legitimately ring-fence the issue from its industrial relations context. Setka’s bullying behaviour and flouting of industrial laws is the embodiment of his union’s deliberate strategy of coercion and intimidation in pursuit of his its industrial agenda, and it’s small businesses and tradies around the country who are the victims,” Denita Wawn said.

“The reality is that Setka and his antics are merely the tip of the iceberg. Construction unions constantly demonstrate their total contempt for the law and hundreds of their officials have followed suit while remaining in positions of responsibility, retaining their rights and privileges under the current laws,” she said.

“The real-life consequence is that union officials who have been found by the courts to have unlawfully bullied and coerced, still have the right to enter construction sites. The community does not tolerate bullying, and it must be not be tolerated on construction sites,” Denita Wawn said.

“The Ensuring Integrity Bill is about making unions more accountable and bringing them into line with the community’s expectations. The Bill will make sure that any organisation or its officials that don’t live up to their obligations will face real and meaningful consequences,” she said.

“Union officials should not be exempt from community standards of behaviour. The Ensuring Integrity Bill means that union officials who repeatedly break the rules they will have their privileges restricted just like everyone else,” Denita Wawn said.

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