||Issue No. 332||10 November 2006|
Affairs of State
Interview: Common Ground
Industrial: A Low Act
Unions: The Number of the Least
Politics: The Smoking Gun
Economics: Microcredit, Compulsory Superannuation and Inequality
Environment: Low Voltage
History: The Art of Social Justice
Review: Work’s Unhealthy Appetite
Culture: A Forgotten Poet
Suncorp in Dee Why Denial
The insurance giant confirms its involvement via a bold billboard on the site but tells dudded contractors it is not responsible for paying the freight.
Several contractors are in the cart for millions of dollars because developer, BSB7, has struck financial problems.
Two of them, HD Projects and Safe Access Scaffolding, are at the centre of a noisy picket that has been running outside Suncorp's NSW head office all week.
"These two companies are owed nearly $200,000 for work they have completed," CFMEU organiser, Rob Kera, says.
"That's big money for these operators and, at least one of them, will lay off employees before Christmas if it doesn't get paid.
"We've been through the chain of responsibility and all trails lead back to Suncorp. At the end of the day, they are paying the bills.
"Morally, at least, Suncorp owes these people a lot of money."
The argument reignites a key CFMEU criticism of a contracting system that sees asset rich finance companies and property developers hiring lowest-cost operators.
Time after time, these people go broke, leaving subbies and, sometimes, their employees unpaid while principal beneficiaries wash their hands of the debts.
The insurance company's Queensland head office delivered unpaid contractors a "get lost" message, last Friday.
Kera says the picket will be extended from offices on the corner of Bridge and Pitt Streets, Sydney, to the project at 23 Howard Ave, Dee Why, next week.
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