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Building unions threaten new action over sham contracting | The Australian #Ausunions
Building unions threaten new action over sham contracting
BY: NATASHA BITA From: The Australian December 16, 2011
BUILDING unions are threatening more strike action in their campaign against sham contracting, despite a new prosecution by the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
The ABCC yesterday revealed it had commenced litigation in the Federal Magistrates Court in Brisbane, accusing three unions — the BLF, the CFMEU and the CPU, and five of their employees — of illegal strike action.
The unions risk fines of up to $143,000 each, plus $28,600 for each individual, should they be convicted of unlawful and unprotected strike action under the Fair Work Act and the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act.
In its statement of claim, the ABCC alleges that the unions organised illegal strikes at two Brookfield Multiplex Constructions sites: the Gold Coast Hilton hotel, and the Wintergarden shopping precinct in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall.
It alleges that 37 workers stopped work on the Hilton site for 48 hours in February after CFMEU and BLF officials told them the unions were targeting Brookfield Multiplex for purportedly engaging in sham contracting.
The same day, 65 workers on the Wintergarden site stopped work for the day after a similar approach from representatives from all three unions.
But BLF secretary David Hanna yesterday vowed workers would not be cowed by the court action. “Workers will continue to take whatever action, be it legal or illegal, to get their message across,” he told The Australian.
“Workers can’t be forced to work beside other people getting half rates of pay. If people need to withdraw their labour to get the point across, then we will continue to do that.”
CFMEU assistant secretary Dave Noonan would not rule out continued strike action.
“In circumstances where employers are breaching work contracts, and workers are being illegally treated as contractors when they’re not … it is entirely appropriate that they stop work,” he said yesterday.
Mr Noonan said the CFMEU had taken court action against several companies it accused of sham contracting on the Gold Coast, but had recently settled out of court for more than $300,000 in payments to workers.
I'm renaming it the Bicycle Liberation Front.
And here’s the reason why:
After reading more articles about bikes/sidewalk issues, I’ve come to realize that the issue here is not the legality of riding bikes on the sidewalk, but the legality of the bike itself. Many governments (especially the Ontario government) define a bicycle as a “vehicle”. It is a “vehicle” in the sense that it moves forward and transports people, but it is in no way similar to say, a car or a truck, etc.
A bicycle is then considered in the same league as a transport truck or tractor trailer. This is utterly ridiculous and should not be. A bike is neither the same size nor weight as even the smallest car, nor can it go the same speeds. It also does not have the same ability to injure a pedestrian that a motorized vehicle can.
Therefore, bicycles should not be considered in the same league as a motorized vehicle. It should be considered a light weight class, separate from heavy vehicles.
FURTHERMORE, governments (particularly the city of St. Catharines) should construct bike lanes on ALL major roads, not a select few. This will ensure safety to both motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians alike.