New NSW Code on construction industry

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New NSW Code on construction industry

As the Federal Government softens its industrial policing of the construction industry, the NSW Government has announced it will release a draft Code for the construction industry. The Code is said to address freedom of association and industrial action.

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As the Federal Government softens its industrial policing of the construction industry, the NSW Government has announced it will release a draft Code for the construction industry. The Code is said to address freedom of association and industrial action.

The new draft Code covers public sector building and infrastructure projects in New South Wales.

The CFMEU said the announcement as nothing more than a political attack on the rights of workers to be members of unions and more importantly, unions that strongly take up their issues.

Impact
 
CFMEU NSW president Rita Mallia says, among other things, that the draft Code bans union safety representatives running site inductions, allows employers to refuse to negotiate with unions over workers’ pay and allows for increased use of casual labour.

‘The Liberal Government is creating a society where construction workers are second-class citizens with no right to permanent employment and must accept the scraps the boss throws them,’ Mallia said.

‘We know what happens when employers run safety inductions — workers lives are ransomed to profit.’

‘The O’Farrell Government is letting politics get in the way of good policy. This is nothing more than intimidation by the State Government, at the behest of big business, by fabricating a crisis in respect of industrial relations that does not exist.’

‘At the same time, Mr O’Farrell ignores the real problems in the industry, including poor safety standards and fatalities, not to mention the large number of big companies that have gone insolvent, leaving subbies unpaid and workers without entitlements.’

‘This is a return to the past and a WorkChoices approach to industrial relations.’

Employers in favour
 
The new move follows the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) earlier this year as well as similar moves on the part of the Victorian Government. The Victorian Government introduced a new Code in the wake of the ABCC’s abolition.

Building and industry groups have welcomed the move.

NSW loses 18,091 jobs in November
 
Meanwhile, New South Wales lost 18,091 jobs in the month of November — despite the number of people employed across Australia rising by 13,900, Shadow Treasurer Michael Daley said.

Seasonally adjusted figures out show that the number of people employed in New South Wales fell 18,091 from October to November. The number of people employed full-time fell 10,330.

The participation rate in New South Wales (the percentage of working-age people employed or looking for work) also slumped from 63.7 to 63.2 per cent — compared with just a 0.1 per cent decrease nationwide.
 
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