Labor should not let unions choose their own regulators

21 Apr 2018 |

Today’s report in The Australian newspaper that the Labor Opposition would abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and reinstate the failed Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) will send a shiver down the spines of Australia’s small businesses, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO, James Pearson, said today.

“These moves should dismay all those with an interest in good government, on time and on budget services, and the rule of law in our workplaces,” Mr Pearson said.

Mr Pearson said the ongoing need for a powerful watchdog in the building and construction industry was evident in the construction union – the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining And Energy Union (CFMMEU) – racking up increasing fines for wilfully breaking the law, prosecution of its members and officers for victimising non-union men and women, and judges condemning in the strongest terms the conduct of the union.

“Australia needs the ABCC; without it the bullies and lawbreakers of the CFMMEU and its new comrades in the former Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) will have a field day.

“Mum and dad business operators, individual tradies, and all of us wanting to keep the cost of buildings and public infrastructure affordable, will suffer.”

Mr Pearson said Labor was going too far.

“It was wrong for the ALP to pull the powers and resources from the ABCC when last in Government, but at least they recognised the construction industry remained a hotspot that needed a dedicated regulator.”

Mr Pearson said the proposal to reinstate the RSRT was another backward step by the Opposition.

“The establishment of the RSRT was a capitulation to the Transport Workers Union that was found to provide no benefits whatsoever other than to the union,” Mr Pearson said.

“It put at real risk the homes and livelihoods of more than 40,000 small, family trucking operators, and threatened the viability of an industry fundamental to businesses and communities throughout Australia.

“The reality is there is almost nothing in our homes or workplaces that has not been on a truck at some point.

“Without trucks, Australia stops.”

Mr Pearson called on Labor leaders to recognise the havoc and heartache the loss of the ABCC and establishment of the RSRT caused when they were last in Government, and to work with business to improve Australia’s workplace relations, not take them backwards.

Duncan Bremner

Director - Public Affairs and Advocacy

P  |  0448 822 666

E  |  [email protected]

Want to hear more from us?

NewsletterMedia Releases