||Issue No. 265||27 May 2005|
Hit and Myth
Interview: Fortress NSW
Unions: Fashions Afield
Industrial: Pay Dirt
Politics: Infrastructure Blues
History: Big Day Out
International: Making History
Economics: The Fear Factor
Review: The Robots Revolt
Poetry: The Corporation's Power
The Locker Room
One Hell Of A Job
US Fan Mail
Red and Green Blue
The move, blocking Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s plan to turn the historic footy ground into a "passive recreational space" tackles new laws that forbid building workers from participating in political campaigns.
Workplace Relations Minister, Kevin Andrews, has announced that when special building industry legislation is passed in federal parliament, penalty provisions, including prison sentences and massive fines, will be imposed retrospectively.
Key features of construction industry legislation, introduced to parliament this week, include ...
- making it illegal to backdate wage agreements, even if the parties agree
- making political or industrial stop work meetings or strikes illegal, except after an EBA has expired
- making it illegal for workers to campaign for equal pay for equal work
- declaring legal strikes illegal after 14 days
- making legal strikes dependent on time-consuming secret ballots to be run by an outside agency
- $22,000 fines for rank and file workers who breach the legislation
- $110,000 fines for unions who breach the legislation
- allowing courts to order unlimited damages against unions
- allowing third parties to sue unions, and workers, for losses
These laws will be enforced by the Building Industry Commission, a special industry police force, which will have the power to prosecute unions and their members on behalf of employers and third parties.
Building workers can be compelled to appear before the taxpayer-funded commission and may be forced to give evidence under oath. The commission can order them to hand over personal documents.
They can be ordered not to divulge what transpired during interrogations to anyone but their lawyer, and, unlike criminals, will be stripped of the right to silence and protections against self-incrimination.
Failure to comply with any of these provisions will make building workers liable to $3300 fines or six months in prison.
CFMEU assistant secretary, Brian Parker, said the red and green ban had been imposed to win time for community involvement before Redfern Oval was lost as a recreational facility.
The union supports George Piggins' proposal for the NRL club to return to a revamped Oval that would double as a base for indigenous, youth, aged and welfare organisations servicing the inner city.
Parker said to focus solely on top-level footy was a mistake as Redfern Oval was a base for the South Sydney Junior Rugby League which catered for 10,000 local players.
Every year it attracts thousands of fans for Junior League semis and finals.
Parker made it clear building workers would picket the site in an effort to prevent the ground being lost.
"Our members are trying to protect the oval's heritage and make sure that inner-city youth have adequate recreational facilities," Parker said.
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