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Rights of building workers must be respected - Greens

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 24 Nov 2008

The Australian Greens today renewed their calls for the Australian Building & Construction Commission (ABCC) to be abolished, and voiced their concerns over the future state of industrial relations in Western Australia.

"WA State Commerce Minister Troy Buswell's threats of creating a replacement WA-specific ABCC clearly show how out of touch the WA Liberals truly are," said Australian Greens spokesperson on industrial relations Senator Rachel Siewert.

"It is very concerning that the direction of industrial relations in WA could revert back to the dark days of employment conditions under the Court Government."

"The continued powers of the ABCC are an affront to our democracy."

"These laws 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."

"The International Labor Organisation has repeatedly commented that the ABCC legislation breaches international labor conventions to which Australia is a signatory. The ILO is a tri-partite body and it has found these laws breach the right to organise and collective bargain and the right to freedom of association," said Senator Siewert.

The Greens' Bill enabling the abolition of the ABCC was referred to committee for review in September, with the report expected this Friday.

"The ABCC should be abolished and the building industry around Australia 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," concluded Senator Siewert.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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