||Issue No. 305||05 May 2006|
Contract With Australia
Interview: Out of the Bedroom
Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
Legal: The Fantasy of Choice
Politics: Labor Pains
Economics: Economics and the Public Purpose
Corporate: House of Horrors
History: Clash Of Cultures
International: Childs Play
Culture: Folk You Mate!
Review: Last Holeproof Hero
The Locker Room
Unmask the Puppeteers, Union Demands
CFMEU assistant national secretary, Dave Noonan, said Independent Contractors Australia (ICA) should publish accounts and membership lists, as unions are required to do, by law.
Kevin Andrews is expected to fulfil an ICA wishlist when he introduces independent contractors legislation to parliament.
Worker representatives expect the bill to deny contractors the right to union representation, and to shift the burden of entitlements such as super, holiday pay, sick pay and insurance from employers to hundreds of thousands of dependent workers.
"It is clear that the people who give this government its instructions are pushing this line," Noonan says. "They want another massive transfer of costs from corporations to Australian citizens.
"We are entitled to know who these people are but nobody knows who funds them or who supports them."
ICA is hellbent on turning employees into contractors but all that's known about the organisation is the identity of three front people with the federal government's ear. They are:
- Economist Angela MacRae. ICA chairman who was formerly attached to the Prime Minister's Office and is a member of the Treasurer's Taskforce on Reducing the Regulatory Burden on Business that floated the idea of denying super payments to more than a million low-paid Australians.
- Building Compay owner, Bob Day, who doubles as president of the aggressively anti-union Housing Industry Association (HIA) and is a member of the federal government's Work for the Dole Advisory Committee.
- ICA executive director, Ken Phillips, who recently published a book called Independence and the Death of Employment.
The identities of funders or supporters isn't revealed on their website or in their literature.
Unions fear contracting legislation will greenlight massive tax evasion, as well removing basic workplace rights from another large group of Australians.
The government's own Building Industry Royal Commission heard evidence from the ATO that millions of dollars a year was being evaded by sham contractors.
Last year, WA roof tilers joined the CFMEU to overcome a cartel of building products firms, and the CEPU spearheaded a successful campaign by broadband and pay tv technicians against some of the country's biggest corporates.
Andrews will deny those groups the right to choose union representation, and also intends taking them beyond the reach of state industrial laws through which they can access unfair contracts remedies.
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