"This book is part of the red armband view of Australian history", Marxist historian Humphrey McQueen told an audience at Brisbane's Paddington Workers Club at the May 28 launch of his new book, Framework of Flesh: Builders' Labourers Battle for Health and Safety.
Under the current repressive industrial laws covering the building industry, "even the cover of this book, which features the Eureka flag, is illegal," McQueen said. The Eureka flag is deemed to be intimidating to non-union members!"
"It is now illegal to stop work over health and safety issues on Australian building sites. The essence of Howard's construction secret police, the Australian Building and Construction Commission, is being maintained by the ALP government.
"There is now a plan for a national occupational health and safety law, which will be the lowest common denominator of the current state laws. For example, the new law will make it illegal to photograph unsafe sites, which workers can now easily do using their mobile phones.
"My book discusses the double standards now applying in the legal system, in which is is illegal to fight deaths on building sites, while construction companies can get away with anything. As Karl Marx said: 'Killing is not murder when done for profit'."
Framework of Flesh outlines the history of the struggle for occupational health and safety in the Australian building industry, from the early 19th century to today.
To purchase a copy of Framework of Flesh visit www.resistancebooks.com for more information.