Australia’s official employer representative to the United Nations’ International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, welcomes a report overnight from the ILO which has overwhelmingly rejected a complaint by the ACTU alleging that the Australian Building and Construction Commission’s (ABCC) legislation and the Building Code are inconsistent with Australia’s treaty obligations.
“In 2017 the ACTU made a formal international law complaint to the ILO about the ABCC, its legislation and the Building Code. The ILO overnight has overwhelmingly rejected these allegations,” Australian Chamber, CEO, James Pearson, said today.
“The ACTU made this international complaint to justify calls by big unions to abolish the ABCC, and to allow CFMEU officials to again enforce a culture of lawlessness and coercion on Australian building sites.
“The ILO has not recommended changes to Australia’s ABCC legislation or the Building Code and has made no adverse finding about the ABCC’s lawfulness or legitimacy.
“At most the ILO has asked our government to monitor union concerns to see whether they have any veracity. The onus is now firmly on the CFMEU and ACTU to come up with evidence to back their claims.
In welcoming the ILO’s finding, Mr Pearson expressed concerns at plans by the Federal Opposition to abolish the ABCC and have no specialist regulator for the industry.
“There are over 360,000 small businesses and over one million construction workers working in our building and construction industry. They have the right to be protected from bullying, coercion and stand over tactics.
“The ABCC is a proven, sound and effective independent regulator that has helped re-establish the rule of law on building and construction sites.
“Without the ABCC we risk a return to a culture of intimidation and lawlessness that hurts employers and employees, and delays the delivery of essential community infrastructure like hospitals and schools.
“Three Royal Commissions, numerous inquiries, hundreds of court decisions and now the ILO Report are all clear evidence of the need to retain a robust watchdog in the building and construction industry.”