NAPTHINE FORCED TO BACKDOWN ON UNFAIR CONSTRUCTION CODE

Posted on 20. May, 2013 in News

The Napthine Liberal Government has today been forced to make changes to its construction industry code following last week’s decision by the Federal Court that found the Government’s code had discriminated against workers.

The Federal Court ruled that the government had discriminated against workers employed by Lend Lease by threatening to not use the builder because Lend Lease had entered an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement with the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union.

“Today’s announcement that the code will no longer apply to enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs) is an embarrassing backdown for the Premier and Industrial Relations Minister Robert Clark,” Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Natalie Hutchins said.

“Despite recognising that the code can’t be applied to EBAs following the Federal Court ruling, the Liberal Government still intends to appeal the court’s decision which will cost the Victorian tax payer thousands in legal fees.

“The Premier and Robert Clark are happy to waste Victorian’s money on expensive legal action to pursue an ideological agenda rather than get on with the job of building infrastructure and creating jobs.

“The people of Bendigo have had to wait for construction to start on the hospital site while the Government has sought to prevent Lend Lease – a construction company with a workplace agreement with the CFMEU – from starting the job.”

Ms Hutchins said the Liberal Government had created uncertainty and confusion in the building industry by introducing the code from July 2012.

“It’s clear the Liberal Government has put ideology before infrastructure and would rather play politics than create employment opportunities for Victorian workers.

“This policy has put thousands of construction jobs at risk over the last twelve months.

“This government cannot be trusted on job security, which is evident by the 6500 construction jobs lost since the Napthine Government came to office.”

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