Builders rally against sham contracts

May 27, 2011

An estimated 3500 building workers walked off the job and rallied in Brisbane’s CBD on May 24 to protest sham contracts being imposed by unscrupulous contractors in the construction industry.

Building workers from the Gold Coast joined the protest after coming up to Brisbane in a convoy of cars and trucks.

Construction unions have shut down the Gold Coast University Hospital site over the issue of "sham contracts, where employers avoid paying entitlements by forcing workers who are legally employees into contracts," the May 25 Courier-Mail said.

The $1.7 billion hospital project has been hit with a series of strikes and bans over the issue.

Fair Work Australia and the Australian Building and Construction Commission are supposedly investigating the matter of sham contracts. The Queensland state Labor government has also announced an immediate review of contracting arrangements in the building industry, according to Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick.

Construction Foresty Mining Energy Union state secretary Michael Ravbar said industrial action would continue on the issue.

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