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Greens move to restore workplace rights in building industry

The Australian Greens today gave notice in the Senate they will move a motion to repeal the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (BCII) and abolish the Australian Building & Construction Commission (ABCC).

"The BCII Act and ABCC represent John Howard's industrial relations agenda at its most extreme - explicitly anti-worker and using the power of the State against individuals in an ideological pursuit," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"A Federal Government committed to workplace rights has no justification for keeping the ABCC until 2010. The Greens will not shrink from defending the basic human rights of workers including those in the building and construction industry."

"The International Labour Organisation has repeatedly commented that the BCII Act breaches international labour conventions such as the right to organise and collective bargain and the right to freedom of association," she said.

"It is appalling that workers in one industry are singled out and have their right to silence removed. Only in the building and construction industry can individual workers be fined up to $22,000 for taking industrial action."

"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. This is what the Greens' motion will achieve," she concluded.

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