||Issue No. 297||03 March 2006|
Interview: Court's in Session
Industrial: Whose Choices?
Politics: Peter's Principles
Environment: TINA or Greener?
History: Its Not Just Handshakes and Aprons
International: US Locks out Jose' Bove
Education: No AWA - No Job
Culture: Jesus was a Long-Grass Man
Review: Charlie the Serf
The Locker Room
What's Going On?
Hardcorp Romp: All the Goss
Whose side would you take?
The answer, for John Howard's Building and Construction Commission is simple. Last Friday, it went to the Supreme Court in Melbourne to back-in rogue operator, Tony Goss.
It wants an injunction against the CFMEU, and one of its reps, Bobby Mates, organising a picket that both say they are not organising. If the Building Industry Commission is true to form, a suit for massive damages will follow.
The community action, outside an apartment development in Heidelberg, targets Goss in his latest guise, Hardcorp.
That company came into being after Goss put its predecessor, Melbourne Transit, into liquidation in advance of penalties being handed down for its involvement with the 2004 death of an apprentice carpenter.
According to the CFMEU, the youngster had been sent under an insecure beam during a concrete pour. His employer told him to toggle the beam but, instead, he was buried in concrete.
Both the employer and the company were charged with negligence. The employer pleaded guilty but Goss chose to put Melbourne Transit into liquidation.
Subbies, formerly with Transit, say they are owed $3.5 million for work completed.
Wage workers employed by those sub-contractors are short $180,000 in owed entitlements. The administrator has told them they will receive two cents in every dollar.
Less than a month after the liquidation, Goss was operating in Heidelberg.
Melbourne Transit had an EBA with the CFMEU but Hardcorp refuses to be bound by negotiated terms.
Out-of-pocket subbies, with community support, picketed the development but Howard's Building and Construction Commission, staffed by taxpayer funded lawyers and investigators, rode in to back the Phoenix operator.
CFMEU Victorian secretary, Martin Kingham, says Goss operations have sheltered behind administration on at least three previous occasions.
"It is an outrage that a public agency would support an employer of this calibre," Kingham says. "It demonstrates, clearly, what the Building Industry Commission is really about."
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