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Union/Big business flim-flammery (again)

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Yesterday, The Australian carried an article reporting that the AMWU wants to ‘represent’ independent contractors. The article quoted Ken Phillips (our Executive Director) who said:

The unions are running a business in conjunction with the big businesses to screw over the workers. Everything else is just show and tell, a dance routine.

It’s like the stage show musical Chicago, it’s all flim-flam.

The industrial relations system is about keeping the eye of punters on the juggler, who is keeping all the balls in the air, and then you have the pickpockets running around the stadium—taking the money out of everyone’s pockets.
Yes, Ken's being a bit colourful, but what the heck? We have reason to be!

Truckies screwed
  • We (ICA) took the truckies’ dispute to the High Court! It was about unions, through the industrial relations system, shoving up owner-drivers’ charge rates to put owner-drivers out of business!
  • We tried to take the competition regulator, the ACCC, to the Federal Court for, we alleged, breaching competition laws! The ACCC gave the Transport Works Union collective bargaining rights even where subsection 93AB(9) of the competition laws declares that “a collective bargaining notice is not a valid notice if it is given … by a trade union.”
But now look at this:

Construction unions organizes to keep big business profits high

Have a read of this extraordinary letter from the construction union, CFMEU, to construction companies in Western Australia.

The letter invites construction companies to join the CFMEU in a WA state-wide agreement because current competitive arrangements have
eroded the profitability of companies” and the industry is in a “downward spiral of profitability.” 
The CFMEU extols the model where
‘Builders and subcontractors on the east coast have higher profits and better productivity in an environment where wages and conditions are regulated by an industry standard enterprise agreement.”
The CFMEU says it already has agreement from the construction giants Probuild, Brookfield Multiplex and Lend Lease. The CFMEU organized meetings to ensure
"we have an industry providing companies with proper returns on their investment".
This looks as if the CFMEU is engaged in organizing alleged tender-rigging, price manipulation and price-fixing in collusion with big construction firms to increase big business profits!  

Why isn’t the ACCC vigorously investigating this? Every company and its executives involved in doing this CFMEU-controlled deal should face investigation with a view to possible criminal prosecution. Is the ACCC doing anything? If the ACCC does nothing, it is as bad as the CFMEU—guilty of allowing collectives of businesses organized by unions to diminish and damage competition!

And we know who will be hurt the most. It will be small business subcontractors in WA who will be screwed by this union/big business collusion. Consumers, too, will be hit hard! 

The ACCC needs a serious wake-up call. The union/big business pickpockets are running around the stadium—taking the money out of everyone’s pockets. Time for some proper investigation and, if needs be, prosecutions.


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