|Issue No 4||12 March 1999|
Current Affair Fires More Blanks at Builders
An attack on the CFMEU by Channel Nine's A Current Affair has fallen flat after it was revealed the TV show's victim had underpaid workers and gone into liquidation twice.
The report, that went to air this week, accused a CFMEU organiser of intimation and standover tactics after he was secretly filmed arguing with the employer, a Sydney demolition contractor.
But the sting went out of the report's tail when the union revealed the employer was under investigation by WorkCover and the Australian Taxation Office for breaches of the law.
Further his own representative, the Demolition Contractors' Association has been quoted as saying he should be thrown out of the industry.
The popular press is placing the spotlight on the industry as the federal government plans an MUA-style campaign to break the building unions. As with the waterfront, an important part of this process is the sponsorship of negative news pieces to set the public mood against the union.
The last time A Current Affair attacked the CFMEU , it ended up paying CFMEU state secretary 50,000 for defamation. Ironically, Ferguson donated that money to the MUA fund last year.
The CFMEU is resisting the latest attack by stepping up its attempts to police wages and safety across the building industry.
The Labor Council of NSW has backed the statewide blitz of underpayment and tax evasion in the construction industry following a report showing one third of all employers in the industry are avoiding some form of payment.
Building companies who were dodging their legal obligations to pay workers' tax and workers compensation were threatening all NSW workers, Labor Council secretary Michael Costa said.
"Underpayment and tax evasion puts the perpetrator at an unfair advantage over the honest employers who do meet their legal obligations," Mr Costa said
"The evasion of workers compensation is of particular concern, at a time where there is pressure on the scheme," Mr Costa said.
"While the state's building industry is booming, I am concerned that these types of practises will adversely effect the business environment and ultimately cost jobs."
Interview: Jennie George - Eyeing 2000
The ACTU President looks to the future and erects a few new signposts for her last 12 months in office and beyond.
Unions: Trade Unions Thinking Globally
How do you put people first in a global economy? That's the question for an international trade union conference in Sydney this week.
History: The Pioneers: Trade Unions Before 1850
Labour historian Greg Patmore looks at the early days of unions in Australia
Review: Opening Spaces For a New Labor
A new book by Sydney academic McKenzie Wark looks at how Labor must adapt to the popular culture.
Campaign Diary: On The Bus - A Tale Of Two Campaigns
As the State election campaign moves into full swing, Workers Online looks at how the management of the media by the two main parties is reflecting their strategies.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005