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Monday, June 25, 2007

CFMEU's Joe McDonald statement

Joe McDonald

Press Statement by WA CFMEU assistant secretary Joe MacDonald, 21 June 2007

Thank you all for coming

On average one worker is killed on an Australian Construction site every week. Both of the jobs where I was filmed were plagued by safety issues and continue to be.

This whole debate is a huge distraction from the real challenges confronting building workers.

I hope that when Kevin Rudd speaks of zero tolerance on lawlessness he means that bosses who kill workers with unsafe work practices will be jailed and workers who have had their entitlements stripped away by employers with the backing of the Howard Government will see justice.

That is why I joined the Labor Party and why I would still like to see them elected to office in the upcoming federal election.

Since coming to power, the Howard Government has put in place the most draconian set of industrial laws in the Western World.

Building workers now face massive fines for taking industrial action even where that action is to fix safety problems and they can be jailed for six months for refusing to answer questions from the ABCC about what happens at union meetings.

Yet a negligent boss who kills a worker or robs entitlements from his employees still retains his right to silence. It is an appalling double standard, something the public has come to expect from the Howard Government.

I would like to tell the Labor Party how hard it is to represent workers in the building and construction industry under the Howard Government's industrial laws. It's a story I intend telling them during the expulsion proceedings they are going to bring against me. For this reason I am not going to resign.

These are the real issues facing workers in the building and construction industry and whether I remain in the Labor Party or not, I will continue to campaign to protect the rights and entitlements of building workers.

Thank you all for coming

For further information

WWW: http://www.cfmeu.asn.au/

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