“Labor will change the law so workers and unions can re-negotiate sham agreements”
- Brendan O'Connor MP
The comment above is a result of Unions lobbying the ALP and other politicians about the current IR rules being broken beyond repair. Each day we are seeing employers exploiting these laws to slash workers’ wages and conditions.
An example close to home is the Forrestfield Airport Link (FAL). This is a tax-funded project awarded to an overseas joint venture (Salini/NRW JV) who undercut the Government budget by $500 million on a $2B estimate. They then established a site SHAM DEAL in secret, voted up by 3 employees before a spade was in the ground, which undercut Union EBA rates by up to 30%. Not content with this disgraceful practice they have now introduced labour hire companies onto the job, paying even less than the site agreement!
Construction workers know that when a project tender price is cut to the bone the site OSH standards won’t be followed and materials will be the cheapest attainable, possibly sourced from overseas and not compliant with Australian Standards. Look at the Perth Children’s Hospital for an example of all the above, with WA tax-payers footing the bill on a hospital still not ready for our sick kids.
WA construction Unions have grave concerns that the current site practices will lead to serious injury or even death on the project. We also have concerns that the wages offered will not attract the level of skilled workers needed to satisfactorily complete the project and cheaper labour will be sourced from overseas.
While our struggle for better standards will continue onsite, the laws which allow these wages and conditions to exist have been put in place by LNP Coalition pollies supported by Senators from One Nation, Xenaphon’s crew and Derryn Hinch. They need to be thrown-out of power along with their anti-worker, anti-union rules at the next federal election.
We urge all workers to join our campaign.
Rita Saffioti is the State Government Minister whose portfolio covers the FAL site. Please contact her to raise your concerns about this project.
The Hon. Rita Saffioti
Minister for Transport, Planning & Lands
P: 08 6552 5500
A: 9th Floor, Dumas House
2 Havelock Street, WEST PERTH WA 6005