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Greens introduce Bill to abolish ABCC

The Australian Greens today introduced a Bill in the Senate that will repeal the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (BCII) and abolish the Australian Building & Construction Commission (ABCC).

"The ABCC represents the Howard Government's Work Choices agenda at its most extreme, and yet the Rudd Government has dragged its heels in addressing these injustices," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"Well the Greens are not prepared to sit back while this travesty of justice continues."

"If the Rudd Labor Party won't deliver on the election hopes of working Australians for a return to balance in workplace relations then the Greens will step in and show them how its done," said Senator Siewert.

"Its time to act to restore workers rights in the workplace."

"If Kevin Rudd was truly committed to bringing fairness back to Australian workplaces then he has no excuse for keeping the ABCC one minute longer - let alone preserving it until 2010."

"It is an affront to our democracy to have workplace relations laws that take away the right to silence, deny people their choice of lawyer, provide powers to compel evidence with the possibility of gaol for non-compliance, and impose severe restrictions on the rights of workers to organise and bargain collectively."

"I expect ALP Senators and Members to carefully consider this bill and realise that this is the right thing to do. It is unfair to put building workers through another couple of years of the oppressive 'Star Chamber' tactics of the ABCC," she said.

"I hope they feel extremely uncomfortable being faced with a bill that actually delivers on their un-kept promises for a fair industrial relations system in this country."

"The ABCC should be abolished and the building industry regulated just like any other industry -- in a fair and just manner that balances the needs of productivity and the economy with the health, safety and democratic rights of workers," she concluded.

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