The Coalition’s plan to introduce a national building code for the construction industry will do nothing to create secure jobs, and is simply an ideological stunt, the ACTU said today.
Media reports today quote Liberal workplace relations spokesman Eric Abetz as saying that the Coalition will consider a national version of Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu’s construction code if it wins office.
ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said that any attempt to copy Ted Baillieu’s flawed code – which bans companies who have struck legal agreements with unions from tendering for government contracts – would be an attack on workers’ rights and an attempt to intimidate businesses.
“This is simply an attempt to introduce Workchoices by stealth by intimidating companies into implementing a right-wing ideological agenda,” Mr Oliver said.
“In Victoria, businesses who have entered into legal agreements with their workers are being told they cannot bid for Government contracts.
This includes companies who simply agreed that they will employ a certain amount of apprentices on sites.”
“This is a major infringement of the right for workers to be represented by a union, and for employers to make their own decisions about how to run their business.”
“In Victoria it will reduce competition for major building contracts and will deliver no benefit for taxpayers.”
“If the Liberals will do this in the construction industry, then workers have to ask which other industries will be targeted if they win Government?”
“This is a return to the Howard Government’s policy of using government money to try and bully businesses into changing the industrial relations policies.”
“Australian workers want to see policies that address their concerns about insecure work and work/life balance, not attacks on their rights.”
“Workers should be concerned that despite Tony Abbott’s attempts to avoid debate on his IR policies, every detail that emerges shows the Coalition is still the same party that introduced Workchoices.”