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Subcontractors and CFMEU out in the cold on building collapse

johnboy 29 October 2008 28

The ABC is carrying an epic whinge by the CFMEU in the wake of the Civic building collapse.

    “CFMEU national safety expert Martin Kingham has been denied entry to the site by the builder Leighton Contractors.

    Mr Kingham says he is concerned for the safety of workers and wants Leighton Contractors to let him on site to inspect the collapse.

    He also claims workers at the site are not being paid.

    “I was greeted by about a dozen workers who can’t go to work,” he said.


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28 Responses to
Subcontractors and CFMEU out in the cold on building collapse
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tylersmayhem 3:08 pm 31 Oct 08

WTF? I’ve met heaps of really nice builders. I wouldn’t have thought the the ratio of scumbag to non-scumbag would be any higher than any other occupation.

Sounds like you’ve been really lucky mate, or you work in similar industries to them.

Jim Jones 12:50 pm 31 Oct 08

GottaLoveCanberra said :

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’ve yet to meet a non-scumbag builder.

WTF? I’ve met heaps of really nice builders. I wouldn’t have thought the the ratio of scumbag to non-scumbag would be any higher than any other occupation.

Granny 12:28 pm 31 Oct 08

Hey, somebody said ‘Nicely put’ and ‘Passy’ in the same sentence … Passy you’ve arrived!!

*chuckle*

tylersmayhem 11:55 am 31 Oct 08

Nicely put Passy!

…and nicely put GottaLove!

Mr_Shab 11:09 am 31 Oct 08

The CFMEU is a perfect example of the maxim “Mongrel boss, mongrel union”, though I’m inclined to think vice-versa as well.

The CFMEU didn’t turn into a crowd of hard-heads by accident. Construction sites, lumber sites and mines can be spectacularly dangerous if incredibly high (and expensive) OH&S standard are not adhered to. Bosses want the job done quicker and cheaper. Unions want it safer.

The stakes are much higher in these industries. The CPSU is a well-subscribed union too – but they don’t call stop work at the drop of a hat. The simple reason is that no-one’s going to die in front of a keyboard because of lax OH&S.

I agree that Leighton need to be a bit more open about this – it reeks of a coverup. If they’d grabbed the chance early, the could have taken the moral high ground (as in “We don’t have to let the union in – but this is a bigger matter than worksite politics. We’re very concerned about our workers…” etc).

Thumper 8:07 am 31 Oct 08

Is Passy John Pilger?

affordable 7:56 am 31 Oct 08

Passy
it would appear that you do not work in the building industry, If you do not do as your told by the CFMEU expect to become unemployed very quickly or expect OHS issues that do not exist.
Their are government agencies to protect workers rights that do not discrimate between workers.
and yes SOME builders are scumbags.

GottaLoveCanberra 12:26 am 31 Oct 08

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’ve yet to meet a non-scumbag builder.

Passy 9:07 pm 30 Oct 08

Affordable

You say: “maybe if the CFMEU was a law abiding organisation in their other activities they would not be in the position of being denied access.”

Hmm. The Howard Government spent $66m on the Cole Royal Commission to fit up the CFMEU. There has not been one prosecution. (Other than an employer.)

So much for not being a law abiding organisation. And would the Raiders accept money from the CFMEU if they had this alleged taint of illegality. Of course not. These accusations are part of an attempt to smash a union that defends its members. Bosses in teh building industry are not exactly angels.

This is not about the CFMEU using OH&S to get more control. (And so what if it were?) It is about the CFMEU performing its legitimate function, making sure the employer delivers a safe work place.

After all, in whose interest is it to have a safe workplace? Workers for sure. But some bosses might be tempted to cut safety corners to make a little more profit.

affordable 5:12 pm 30 Oct 08

even if they dont rip off the worker, they will attract CFMEU attention anyway and they will make something up to remind you who is the boss

tylersmayhem 3:49 pm 30 Oct 08

Unions are fundamentally wrong in any workplace where skilled labour is required.

Until the employer decides to start ripping off ALL employees, then the naysayers become interested.

LlamaFrog 3:10 pm 30 Oct 08

Union labour, collective bargaining so the least productive worker gets the same pay as the most productive. Unions are fundamentally wrong in any workplace where skilled labour is required.

affordable 2:55 pm 30 Oct 08

maybe if the CFMEU was a law abiding organisation in their other activties they would not be in the position of being denied access

VicePope 1:54 pm 30 Oct 08

Whatever happened, and is happening, looks a hundred times worse if the builder is trying to keep the union out. There is a manifest issue of workplace safety, in which the uniom has a role and considerable expertise. Locking them out makes it look like there’s something to hide.

AG Canberra 11:40 am 30 Oct 08

Clearly no work is being done at the site at the moment. I reckon the CFMEU would be better served doing the inspection before work starts up again (and having that inspection done by a scaffolding expert of their choosing). At that point there really shouldn’t be an argument from Leightons if they are providing a safe workplace…..

tylersmayhem 11:26 am 30 Oct 08

From the ABC artice: “The union says there was a smaller formwork collapse at the same Leighton Contractors construction site about two weeks ago.” The construction company has confirmed the earlier incident occured but will not comment further as it is being investigated by ACT WorkCover.

What a bunch of cowboys. What did I say about Leighton sticking to building roads in the other thread?

Mr Evil 11:21 am 30 Oct 08

barking toad said :

CFMEU is about control of work sites – O H & S is a tool used to achieve this

And threats of violence – that’s also a good tool used within the costruction industry.

barking toad 11:18 am 30 Oct 08

CFMEU is about control of work sites – O H & S is a tool used to achieve this

tylersmayhem 11:09 am 30 Oct 08

I can’t see why the company would keep them out. Surely safety is paramount.

I also wholeheartedly concur! This stinks of a cover-up!

LG 9:21 am 30 Oct 08

Thumper said :

I can’t see why the company would keep them out. Surely safety is paramount.

Agreed, although perhaps the particular rep didn’t have the appropriate skills to inform a safety investigation that is already being undertaken by workcover?

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