||Issue No. 271||08 July 2005|
Interview: Battle Stations
Unions: The Workers, United
Politics: The Lost Weekend
Industrial: Truth or Dare
History: A Class Act
Economics: The Numbers Game
International: Blonde Ambition
Training: The Trade Off
Review: Bore of the Worlds
Poetry: The Beaters Medley
The Locker Room
Do It Yourself?
Vale the Eight Hour Day
The vision thing
Campaign Pushes Right Buttons
It’s Time to Punt the PM
Bob Each Way
Hits the Mark
Reforms not an Erosion
CFMEU Resists Standover Tactics
The Workplace Relations Minister, last week, tried to stop thousands of Victorian companies signing off on a negotiated agreement with the CFMEU by holding hundreds of millions of dollars worth of government projects over their heads.
Canberra has repeatedly interfered in building industry negotiations, going as far as setting out a "code" of conditions employers must not agree to, if they want to be considered for federally-funded projects.
Andrews' department has ticked off the latest CFMEU agreement as code compliant but, in a last ditch bid to scuttle the deal, the Minister warned he might change the code to render it retrospectively non-compliant.
Andrews delivered the threat after the Master Builders Association locked into the CFMEU's 2005-2008 enterprise bargaining agreement, which delivers standard wage rises and retains 36-hour week provisions.
Workers Online understands Andrews is proposing four changes to guidelines attached to his code and that his department has advised the Victorian agreement meets each of those requirements.
CFMEU assistant national secretary, Dave Noonan, called on Andrews to "butt out" of the negotiations and to "stop interfering with the agreement-making process".
"Kevin Andrews is hell-bent on this worker bashing agenda but it is not working. Hundreds of Victorian companies, employing thousands of workers, have signed the agreement," Noonan said.
"Workers have given it a tick, employers have given it a tick and his own department has ticked off on it. The only person trying to make trouble is the Minister.
"This agreement is important to our members because it will provide security and stability for their families while their wages and conditions are under attack from a government that puts ideology above good policy."
Noonan said Andrews "blacklist threat" was "extraordinary" if reports, that even after he tweaks the code his department believes the Victorian agreement will pass muster, are true.
He said the building industry was too important to be used as a "political football" and warned the Minister standover tactics would not work.
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