||Issue No. 202||10 November 2003|
Governing the Corporates
Interview: Union for the Dispossessed
Unions: Joel's Law
National Focus: Spring Carnival
Bad Boss: Fina and Fiends
Industrial: The Price of War
Economics: Who's Got What
History: Containing Discontent
Review: An Honourable Wally
Poetry: The Colours of Discontent
Taskforce Sleeps As Cranes Crash
Members of the multi-million dollar taskforce, set up to police building and construction, were nowhere to be seen when two cranes collapsed and at least three workers suffered falls in the space of five days.
"The Taskforce is very keen to prosecute unionists and try to bankrupt the union but, when it comes to safety, they're invisible," CFMEU organiser Phil Davey said.
"Safety prosecutions, over some of these incidents, would be a lay-down mizere but they don't seem interested."
The horror week on Sydney building sites began less than seven days after 10,000 building workers rallied to demand industrial manslaughter legislation after 16-year-old Joel Exner fell to his death on an Eastern Creek site.
CFMEU officials said workers on the death site had not been protected by safety harnesses or scaffolding.
Last week's incidents included:
- a crane collapsing and toppling into Darling Harbour. The operator leapt clear and was admitted to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital with bruising and fractures.
- a crane falling across four lanes of traffic in Parramatta. The boom crashed into two parked trucks. The operator jumped and was admitted to a Sydney hospital
- a building worker falling from a multi-level development in downtown George St. He was admitted to hospital with his injuries.
- a building worker being admitted to hospital after being knocked unconscious by an excavator at beachside Maroubra.
- a painter being hospitalised after a fall from a Carlingford site.
- a building worker being admitted to Westmead Hospital after a 4m fall from a west Sydney construction job
The CFMEU says is has no expectation of safety action from the Interim Building Industry Taskforce, set up after the Cole Royal Commission. But it is demanding greater preventative action from state health and safety authority, Workcover.
A central, and repetitive, claim of evidence placed before the Cole Royal Commission was that building industry union's use workplace safety as a "ruse" to further industrial agendas.
Meanwhile, a traffic controller lost his life in a road works accident in North East Victoria last week. Neville Charles Creighton, 56, died after being struck in the head by a rock during blasting.
Both the AWU and WorkSafe have launched investigations into the death.
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