Master Builders Australia says a replacement agency with fewer powers than the Australian Building and Construction Commission would give the green light to building unions to engage in unlawful strikes.
The MBA renewed its call renewed its call for the Gillard government to retain the powers of the Australian Building and Construction Commission within any replacement body today, after federal Labor Caucus moved to introduce a bill into Parliament to abolish the ABCC and replace it with an agency with fewer powers.
Master Builders chief executive Wilhelm Harnisch said the ABCC had delivered “sustained and substantial” productivity gains since it was established, therefore it was imperative that its powers remain.
“Sadly, unlawful industrial behaviour still persists in the commercial building industry and cannot be condoned or accepted as normal,” Mr Harnisch said.
“The recent release of the ABCC’s annual report showed that courts during the last financial year imposed more than $2.5 million in penalties with the unacceptable practice of coercion accounting for just on two thirds of the amount imposed during the year.
“It was noteworthy that the ABCC secured a record workplace relations penalty of over $1.3 million in the context of the protracted union demarcation dispute that occurred in 2009 at the Westgate Bridge strengthening project.
“The parliament cannot ignore such court findings and
Mr Harnish said a proposed agency with fewer powers and reduced fines would only encourage more unlawful industrial action.
“Master Builders will fight the new legislation and urges the government to retain the tough cop on the beat,” he said.