Unions’ ‘improper’ behaviour means ABCC needed, says Rudd

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Unions’ ‘improper’ behaviour means ABCC needed, says Rudd

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has vowed to keep a watchdog over the construction industry because of ‘improper behaviour’ by construction unions.

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Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has vowed to keep a watchdog over the construction industry because of ‘improper behaviour’ by construction unions.
 
Unions have been calling for ‘one law for all workers’, and unanimously backed such a proposition at last week’s ACTU Congress.
 
However Rudd told ABC radio today the Government had a mandate for retaining a body to control the construction industry, including its controversial coercive powers.
 
‘I take absolutely seriously my commitment to the Australian people prior to the last election,’ he told 3AW radio.
 
Very explicit at election time
 
‘We were very explicit about it. We did not say at the time that we would be abolishing the function all together, and we intend to abide by our pre-election promise.’
 
‘Are our friends in the trade movement saying that there have been no problems of improper behaviour in various parts of the construction industry in Victoria and Western Australia?’
 
Rudd made the same point on Sky News when he said: ‘You'd have to be Blind Freddy not to conclude that there have been historical problems, most particularly in the Victoria and West Australian divisions of the construction division of the CFMEU.’
 
Thuggish behaviour’
 
Deputy Prime Minister and IR Minister Julia Gillard made the same point when she addressed the ACTU Congress and referred to thuggish behaviour, during the construction unions’ dispute on the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne.
 
The powers of the ABCC will again be raised by union delegates at the ALP National Conference starting on Thursday 30 July in Sydney.
 
The unions will be trying to have the abolition of the ABCC, and its non-replacement under Fair Work Australia made a part of the Party’s policy platform.
 
They are not expected to be successful, particularly as former trade union officials and now Government Ministers Greg Combet, Martin Ferguson, and Simon Crean have said the unions should make the best of the current IR reforms.
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