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Construction sector: FWBC's enforcement regime paying dividends

Sunday, March 23, 2014

We’ve long campaigned against the oppression experienced by independent contractor subbies at the hands of union officials in the Australian construction sector. More recently, we've submitted our concerns about the collusion in the sector between unions and some large, dominant firms which limits competition.

So it's extremely pleasing to see some pushback against the thuggery and violence. The new head of the Federal government’s construction monitoring unit, Nigel Hadgkiss, has been busy. Since October last year he has:
  • Opposed site-entry permit applications by several union officials known for their violence.
  • Launched prosecutions against several union officials and a construction firm over coercion allegations.
  • Succeeded in obtaining court-ordered fines totalling more than $260,000 against several union officials over their violent behaviours.
More detail on the FWBC's enforcement of workplace law and regulation is here.

On the other concern—collusion—we’re also pleased that the Productivity Commission’s interim report into the construction industry is recommending that the government denies tenders to construction firms who collude with unions. At ICA we’ve been recommending this action and are highly supportive of such an approach.
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