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Labor reaps the lawlessness it sowed by abolition of ABCC



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Labor Reaps the Lawlessness It Sowed By Abolition of ABCC Wednesday, 29 August 2012 15:55

The actions of the union bosses at the CFMEU are a direct result of Bill Shorten and Labor’s

abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), weakening penalties

for union bosses who break the law in the sector and changing of the definition of ‘unprotected

action’ in the Fair Work Act.

“This is yet another example where Mr Shorten has acted as ex-union boss first and Minister of

the Crown second and now he’s lost control of the situation,” Senator Abetz said today.

“Despite spin from Labor MP’s today, Mr Shorten’s abolition of the ABCC was held up by Labor

as a ‘proud moment for the labour movement’.”

“It’s now very clear why Labor turned the ABCC into a toothless mouse:

 While Bill Shorten was in charge of the Australian Workers Union, courtesy of prosecutions by the ABCC, more than a hundred thousand dollars in penalties against the union and its officials were awarded; and

 The CFMEU bosses donated $1.7 million to the Australian Labor Party in 2010-11 alone.”

“As well as abolishing the ABCC, Bill Shorten and Labor - with the backing of the Greens and

militant union bosses - changed the laws governing the building and construction sector:

 reducing penalties for breaching the Fair Work (Building Industry) Act from $22,000 to just $6,600 for individuals and from $110,000 to $33,000 for corporations;

 narrowing the circumstances under which industrial action by building industry participants will be considered 'unprotected'; and

 stopping FWBC from prosecuting parties for breaches of the legislation where the other parties have settled or discontinued a matter.”

“The only way to fix the problem is to restore the ABCC which helped the building and

construction industry to increase productivity by 10%, provided an annual economic gain of $6.2

billion dollars per year; reduced inflation by 1.2 per cent, increased GDP by 1.5 per cent, while

the number of working days lost annually per 1,000 employees in the construction industry fell

from 224 in 2004 to 24 in 2006. At the same time, building costs fell by 20-25% and long project

delays were dramatically reduced.”

“If Labor hadn’t scrapped the ABCC, we wouldn’t have violence breaking out on the streets as

well as illegal strikes in Melbourne and Sydney.”