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BLF deregistration



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NEWS RELfASIParliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Telephone: (062)73 2136Telex: 62286 23 J u l y 1985 1 7 5 / 8 5BLF DEREGISTRATIONFederal Cabinet today approved legislation to deregister the Builders Labourers' Federation.The legislation would be introduced to Parliament in the first week of the Budget session with the aim of being passed with a minimum of delay, the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Ralph Willis, said today.Mr Willis said that the legislation would provide executive powers to deregister the BLF nationally or to take equivalent action to prevent the BLF operating in particular States where the union's behaviour has been particularly abhorrent.The legislation would provide for an immediate hearing before the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission.A Full Bench of the Commission will be asked to determine that the BLF had engaged in serious industrial misconduct inconsistent with the aims of the conciliation and arbitration system, and in breach of undertakings which the BLF had previously given.Whilst the legislation will allow the BLF a hearing, it will be framed to minimise delays before the Commission.The legislation would also contain provision to facilitate the re-allocation of BLF work amongst other building unions.Mr Willis said that whilst these measures were an unprecedented step, they were clearly justified by the ruthless actions of the BLF and their total unwillingness to honour agreements and undertakings which they had previously given.The actions of the BLF had gone far beyond the bounds of normal industrial behaviour. Their guerrilla tactics and use of thuggery, violence and intimidation have had a disastrous impact not only on building employers but also on fellow workers in the industry.The BLF's behaviour poses a threat to the continued existence of the union movement. If that action is allowed to continue it will heighten demands for widespread measures which are likely to impinge on legitimate union activity..../I2-47-100 Mar 84

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The Government expects full support from employers for these measures. Mr Willis said that the Government's proposals are clearly in employers' longer-term interests in order to create a much more stable industrial climate in the industry.

In order to create the conditions for a sustained improvement in industrial relations, Mr Willis said that employers should agree to adopt a code of industrial behaviour in the industry which would get rid of practices fostered by the BLF.

This would include, among other things, employers refusing to pay for time lost during strikes and other industrial action, and ensuring that the procedures of the Building Industry Agreement were adhered to.

Employers would also be expected to ensure safe working conditions and that employees are enrolled in building industry superannuation.

The Government is also considering measures in relation to Government contracts. These include:

. taking account of commitment to Government industrial relations policies in awarding contracts, taking out leases and approving development projects?

. dealing sympathetically with claims for extension of time where progress is delayed by unreasonable BLF action;

. ensuring that contractors on Government projects adhere to the suggested code of industrial behaviour.

Cabinet will consider the details of these measures shortly.

State Governments will also be approached to seek their agreement to similar measures in their jurisdictions.

CANBERRA