The UN body that governs the rights of working people has damned the Morrison Government’s laws around the building industry as a clear threat to our fundamental industrial rights in a report released overnight.
The finding is critical of the Morrison Government and the ILO has committed to keep a permanent watching brief on their actions to prevent breaches of working people’s rights and abuses of power.
The International Labour Organisation’s Committee on Freedom of Association was responding to a complaint about the laws submitted by the ACTU in 2017.
In its findings the ILO said the Morrison Government’s laws could “serve as a serious impediment” to working people’s rights and directed the Morrison Government to keep the ILO informed on how they were used.
The body also called on the government to apply the law “in a manner consistent with the principles of freedom of association”.
The ruling comes after several adverse findings by the ILO against earlier ABCC legislation written by conservative governments that identified clear breaches of international conventions.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“The International Labour Organisation in this decision has found a clear threat to workers’ rights – including basic rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining – posed by the ABCC legislation.
“They found that the right of people working in the construction industry to negotiate fair deals with employers is endangered by the actions of the Morrison Government.
“This latest report builds on repeated previous findings by the ILO’s supervisory bodies that the ABCC legislation breaches the most fundamental ILO conventions and international law.
“The ABCC was reintroduced by the Morrison Government in spite of the long history of ILO findings of inconsistency with the conventions Australia has signed up to. It’s time the Morrison Government stopped ignoring its obligations under international law.”