The reintroduction of the Fair Work (Ensuring Integrity No. 2) Bill 2019 is a welcome development and a sign to over 380,000 small building and construction businesses that the Parliament has not abandoned them, according to Master Builders Australia.
CEO Denita Wawn said that while the Bill’s failure to pass last week was a huge blow to industry confidence, its reintroduction provides some hope that an end to bullying and thuggery deployed by building unions remains in sight.
“Everyone knows there is a problem in building and construction with bullying – and every Senator who spoke on the previous Bill acknowledged there were some unions and some officials who constantly and deliberately do the wrong thing,” she said.
“The problem is that most of these bad apples are in our industry and we have to wear the consequences of their bullying. This isn’t a union busting Bill as many make out and there are lots of good unions out there – we just want the unions in our industry to be like those in every other industry,” Denita Wawn said.
“We are deeply concerned that some organisations and officials would have taken last week’s Senate outcome as a green light to continue bullying, intimidation and thuggery, and called for the Parliament to make the Bill its first priority for 2020,” she said.
“The historical data shows that building unions will likely rack up around $450,000 in court fines and penalties between now and the resumption of sittings in 2020, with the cost to industry being many times higher than that,” Denita Wawn said.
“That’s almost half a million dollars of union members money which could be avoided if only building unions played by the rules like most other organisations seem able to do,” she said.
“You don’t need to break workplace laws to represent your members,” Denita Wawn said.