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Lack of statements cause for complaint

COMPLAINING to the WA Government’s Building Industry and Special Projects Inspectorate is considered reasonable cause for industrial action.

The BGC Constructions job at the Motorola site in Nedlands was the subject of a 24-hour strike forced by Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union officials last week.

BGC Constructions general manager Gerry Forde said CFMEU assistant secretary Joe McDonald had insisted the workers go on strike for 24 hours because BGC had complained to BISPI about another matter.

“The funny thing about it was they called a strike on a day when we had heavy rain,” Mr Forde said.

“If they hadn’t called the strike then the workers would have been sent home anyway. The only difference is they would have been paid for the day off.”

In the past 12 months the BISPI has received three formal complaints.

It has also become aware of concerns about compulsory unionism and alleged threats in 17 other cases. However, while those cases were investigated, the complainants were unwilling to provide statements.

Unlike the Building Industry Task Force, BISPI inspectors cannot use the criminal code to make prosecutions. They can only work within industrial relations laws but have jurisdiction to work in both the Federal and State arenas.

Any criminal matters have to be referred to the WA Police Service.

Doric director Charles Neophytou said while BISPI could not effectively stamp out union threats and intimidation, it had provided him with some helpful industrial relations advice.

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