||Issue No. 284||07 October 2005|
Age of Consent
Interview: Under Fire
Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Economics: The Common Wealth
History: Walking for Justice
International: Deja Vu
Legal: The Rights Stuff
Review: That Cinderella Fella
Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
The Locker Room
Make Ads Not Law
Nice One, Workers!
Dog Eat Dog
Taskforce On Safety Charges
An apprentice and a tradesman were admitted to hospital after being struck by falling scaffolding on building site at The Entrance, operated by MPM Construction.
CFMEU organiser, Pomare Auimatagi, said the apprentice's hard hat saved him from "serious damage" when a crane dropped a mixed load over the slab he and the tradesman were working on.
"They hauled a load over power wires and above the two men on the concrete slab," Auimatagi said. "It broke open and they were both struck by falling scaffolding."
The Building Industry Taskforce that John Howard transformed into a permanent Building and Construction Commission, last week, used taxpayers money to try and block CFMEU monitoring of MPM safety standards.
It has taken action, on behalf of MPM, to have right of entry permits removed from three experienced organisers. Removal of the permits would mean the trio could no longer do their jobs.
Its case against Northern Beaches organiser, Tommy Mitchell, was thrown out of the IRC, last month.
Decisions are still pending on bids to put Martin Wyer and David Glass out of work.
CFMEU assistant secretary, Brian Parker, said the case against Mitchell had been "ridiculous".
"Honestly, when they brought on their evidence you would have thought their witnesses were ours," Parker said.
He labelled Taskforce action "disgraceful" and said the organisation had "blood on its hands" after the Central Coast accident.
"Safety has been a real issue with this company," Parker said. "But the Taskforce used taxpayers money to try and ensure it had a free hand.
"MPM's track record has been ordinary but, to be fair, there are signs of improvement. That's because of our efforts and in spite of the Taskforce."
Auimatagi said the two injured workers had returned to light duties, this week, after treatment for head and arm injuries.
He said the incident, and the prosecution of the employer responsible for apprentice Joel Exner's death, had heightened awareness of health and safety on the Central Coast.
"The Taskforce is trying to block our work but the boys are coming out from behind the pillars and talking," Auimatagi said.
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