||Issue No. 260||22 April 2005|
Interview: [email protected]
Unions: State of the Union
Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Legal: Leg Before Picket
Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Health: Cannabis Controversy
Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
History: Politics In The Pubs
Review: Three Bob's Worth
Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
The Locker Room
Taskforce Stands Over Vet
The Taskforce had its bid to have Peter McLean fined $2000 stood over in the Mildura Magistrate's Court, this week, after it indicated it wasn't ready to proceed.
The adjournment request, filed more than a year after the Taskforce began investigating the CFMEU' delegate, drew a stinging response from his wife.
"If this Government was willing to spend what they have spent trying to get us, on improving people's lives, they could afford a new hospital or school in the area," Lynette McLean said.
Taskforce officer, Gary Ponzio, has charged the dogman with breaching the dispute resolution procedure in the Victorian Building Industry Agreement.
The case stems from the failure of head contractor, Zauner Construction, to pay site allowances set out in their enterprise bargaining agreement until La Trobe University's Mildura site was closed for a day.
McLean said he received repeated assurances the $1.65 an hour, at issue, would be paid. But, after nine or 10 weeks of representations, Zauner still hadn't delivered.
Mildura sources said Zauner backpaid the 50 workers on site, immediately after their stoppage.
McLean, a father of six, says he has no idea why the Taskforce is so determined to get its hands on his savings.
"I don't know what they want and I don't think they do either," he said. "I can only think it's become personal.
"Gary Zauner's a nice enough bloke but his company overlooked paying site allowance, and they kept overlooking it.
"But our biggest problem was Gary Ponzio. He kept interfering and we had arguments over all sorts of things. Every morning, for weeks, his white Falcon was parked out the front of the job.
"I was also the safety rep and he harassed me over that, as well. At one point, he ordered me to hand over all my books and diaries.
"I really think the court action is personal. The boys won the argument and now it's pay back time."
The Taskforce began its action against McLean shortly after Hadgkiss told Senate Estimates his organisation did not pursue employers for award breaches.
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