If construction union bullying and contempt for the law continues it will be a drag on economic recovery as highlighted by the Federal Court’s findings against six CFMMEU officials in Canberra.
Six CFMMEU ACT Branch officials, including its current and previous Secretary were found by the court to have deliberately broken right of entry laws on multiple Canberra construction sites.
“These men who hold positions of responsibility in the union and given privileges under the law have been found by a court to have contempt for the law,” Denita Wawn said.
“What this meant in practice was that they set about deliberately obstructing the work of construction workers and subcontractors flagrantly disregarding health and safety directions in the process,” she said.
“As an industry, a country and a community we are facing an economic crisis the severity of which has not been seen for generations. As it has on all previous historic occasions, building and construction will play a major role in the economic recovery and this must not be undermined by construction unions engaging in self-interested bullying and coercion,” Denita Wawn said.
“The CFMMEU mostly targets these tactics to bully small businesses to sign up to union pattern agreements that drive up the cost of construction. Bullying is not tolerated in the community and small businesspeople who are under huge stress from the economic crisis should not be subjected to the added trauma of a visit from a bullying construction union official,” she said.
“It is the community that always pays the price for the selfish bullying of the CFMMEU. They are fully aware that their behaviour drives up the cost of construction of community infrastructure and if they continue to pursue this conduct in the current circumstances the negative impact of their selfishness will be even greater,” Denita Wawn said.
“As the Federal Government prepares to announce major public infrastructure spending in the Budget it should be reminded of the Prime Minister’s commitment when it shelved the Ensuring Integrity in May this year,” Denita Wawn said.
“Given how critical the construction sector will be to the task of rebuilding the Australian economy, the government remains committed to ensuring that the law-breaking stops. We are committed to ensuring that this happens in the simplest, fairest and most effective statutory form possible, which will consider going forward.”
Prime Minister’s Address to the National Press Club, 26 May 2020.