The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) is launching a campaign to regulate safety in the power industry following two workers' deaths late last year in the Latrobe Valley.
Twenty-three-year-old AMWU member Scott Thorburn was killed just six weeks after the death of AMWU delegate Rick Gauci at Yallourn in October. AMWU organiser Steve Dodd was quoted on the AMWU website as saying both fatalities "were preventable".
Dodd said that the impact of the Howard government's new industrial relations laws could not be underestimated in both of these cases. "Every time someone raises a safety issue, the boss says 'What are you going to do about it? You can't have a meeting because we have to dock you for four hours and it's illegal'."
The Victorian branch of the AMWU announced in mid-December that it plans to call a mass meeting of all AMWU members in the area for late February to launch a campaign on the issue of workers' safety in the power industry.