ABCC

In an interview with Sky News on March 8, finance minister , “The whole reason why it is important to have flexibility in the labour market … is … to ensure that wages can adjust in the context of economic conditions, is to avoid massive spikes in unemployment … That is a deliberate design feature of our economic architecture.”

More than 60 unionists and supporters of the labour movement met after the Sydney May Day march on May 6 to discuss the next steps of the Right to Strike campaign.

The meeting, which built on the success of a , called for the critical addition of the right to strike as a core demand of the Australian Council of Trade Unions' (ACTU) Change the Rules campaign.

It is a basic right of working people to organise collectively through our unions

We own our own labour and should have the right to control our labour by organising collectively through our unions. Workers and our unions should not be prosecuted or penalised for organising our labour.

Our current industrial laws are anti worker, anti union and simply unjust and make it harder for workers to organise to defend our wages, conditions and living standards. 

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has re-launched his verbal war against his successor Malcolm Turnbull, with obvious relish.

In recent speeches, Abbott criticised leaked internal Liberal Party moves to bring forward a bill for marriage equality; called for an end to all new spending except for national security and infrastructure; and advocated freezing the country's — already inadequate — renewable energy target.

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) was dealt another embarrassing blow on March 21.

The Federal Court dismissed all claims against the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) after finding prosecutors had made a deal with a confessed blackmailer to give evidence for the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) in return for staying out of jail.

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) was originally set up by former Prime Minister John Howard in 2005. Another former Prime Minister Tony Abbott tried but failed to reintroduce it in 2014.

It was the reason Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called a double dissolution election last year. The result was a Senate willing to pass ABCC legislation, thanks to the likes of Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch who voted with the Coalition.

Thousands of unionists attended protests around the country on March 9 in opposition to the federal government's new building code, the reintroduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and its planned penalty rate cuts.

The rallies were called by the CFMEU Construction Division and supported by the ACTU and individual unions. Community anger against the cuts to wages and conditions was palpable.

A panel of union militants will lead a discussion about the new challenges facing unions and unionists in the wake of the passing of the federal Coalition government's Australian Building and Construction Commission and other anti-union laws.

A cloud hangs over the annual picnic day for workers in the construction industry and their families, due to the passage of the bill to revive the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

Former Prime Minister John Howard’s Building Industry Taskforce was established in 2002 — a child of the Cole Royal Commission. The ABCC was established by the Howard government in 2005, once it had achieved a majority in the Senate. 

The CFMEU has labelled the $21,225 fine imposed by the Federal Court on May 30 for taking action over hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages as a “disgrace”. WA CFMEU secretary Mick Buchan said this action characterises the absolute bias of the Fair Work Building Commission (FWBC). “They came after the union for helping workers get the wages that were owed to them for work they had done. We are being punished for doing our job.”
The federal government’s anti-union agenda, on behalf of the Australian ruling class, has been further frustrated following its failure to ensure two key pieces of legislation pass the Senate. On August 17, the Senate defeated a bill that would have reintroduced the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) along with its coercive powers and weakened protections for unions.
For the first time in Australian history, construction workers are facing government moves to seize houses and cars in relation to an industrial dispute. The 33 workers affected took part in an eight-day strike in north-west WA in 2008. Mick Buchan of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) told the ABC that the dispute between workers and the company was resolved at the time. “It was some time later that the ABCC [Australian Building Construction Commission] intervened and brought charges against individuals”, he said.
Top officials from the John Howard government's Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) have been appointed to head its successor, the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate (FWBII). The ABCC was never completely abolished under the recent Labor government, but instead had most of its functions transferred to the Inspectorate. Employment minister Eric Abetz appointed former ABCC deputy commissioner Nigel Hadgkiss as director of the inspectorate, and former ABCC commissioner, John Lloyd, as chair on October 17.
The letter below was written by Socialist Alliance member Justine Kamprad. She wrote it to federal member for Fremantle Melissa Parke after South Australian rigger Ark Tribe was found not guilty on November 24 of refusing to attend an interview with the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). Dear Melissa Parke, As blue-collar workers, my partner and I have been involved with our unions over the past decade. In that time I have seen our unions fight for safety, dignity and a better life for our family.
Workers downed tools at the Wonthaggi desalination plant, near Melbourne, after the November 18 Australian claimed senior managers of building contractor Thiess Degremont hired the Australian Security Intelligence group (ASI) to spy on union members, union delegates and others working on the project earlier this year. Thiess is a subsidiary of one of Australia’s largest companies, Leighton. The ASI is a company run by notorious strikebreaker Bruce Townsend, jailed in 2006 in Hobart for receiving stolen cars.
In October, Kevin Harkins, a member of the Labor Left, won the ballot to become the new secretary of Unions Tasmania. Harkins was an electrician and then an organiser with the Electrical Trades Union in Victoria, before becoming ETU Tasmanian secretary in 2000. He spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Linda Seaborn. * * * The recent Unions Tasmania election was the first contested ballot in years. Can you tell me about that?

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