19 November 2019

Latest ABCC proceedings alleging building unions used coercive tactics to force a crane company into signing up to a union deal, highlights why the Parliament should back the Ensuring Integrity laws.

In these latest proceedings, the ABCC allege that the CFMMEU engaged in coercion and took adverse action in an attempt to get a crane company to sign a union deal.

The conduct allegedly involved abuse, intimidate and photographing workers that were then posted on social media. Equipment was shut-down, safety rules were ignored, and a supervisor was allegedly spat at and told words to the effect of "we know where you live and we'll get you". Other workers were called 'scabs' and 'dogs'.

Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn said that while these allegations have yet to be proven, they are indicative of the type of unlawful conduct and bullying behaviour that building unions regularly deploy on construction sites.

"These allegations describe behaviour that is, sadly, quite common on building sites,” she said.

"It's bullying and intimidation designed to force workplaces into doing what building unions wants, and it's the type of thing that's getting worse,” Denita Wawn said.

"These allegations are exactly why the Parliament needs to support the Ensuring Integrity laws and put an end to the bullying, so as to allow construction sites to be like all other normal workplaces,” she said.

"Building unions are renowned for breaking workplace laws every week, and there needs to be real consequences so they change their behaviour,” Denita Wawn said.

"Given the comprehensive protections and rights they enjoy under the Fair Work regime, there is no reason why a union needs to deliberately and repeatedly break the law to represent members,” Denita Wawn said.

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