Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has called upon the Senate to reintroduce laws that will protect workers and employers on building sites from thugs. The MEA called for the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) to be reinstated when the matter is brought to a vote in the coming weeks.
Welcoming media reports that the Government planned to reintroduce the laws to protect workers and employers on building sites from industrial thuggery, MEA Manager – Workplace Policy Jason O’Dwyer said the Government had committed to ABCC’s restoration during the last election, and clearly had a mandate to bring an end to unlawful activities in the construction sector.
According to O’Dwyer, the ongoing Royal Commission has heard some truly frightening accounts of unlawful standover tactics, threats of violence and bullying behaviour on the nation’s building sites. While many of these claims have been supported by video evidence, there are several more similar instances that are not caught on camera.
Noting that many of the perpetrators are union organisers and delegates who are no longer even under the control of their own union bosses, he said that their thuggish and unlawful behaviour on building sites was crippling productivity in the industry. Smaller contractors were impacted the most by the abusive behaviour with larger contractors able to withstand the financial costs.
O’Dwyer explained that law-abiding workers and business owners in the construction industry were being stood over, verbally abused and physically menaced while trying to go about their work. These people are sick of being singled out in their workplaces by lawless thugs and are, therefore, urging the Parliament to protect them.
O’Dwyer added that Master Electricians Australia’s requests for meetings with cross-bench Senators to discuss the issue were ignored in many cases.