Dave Noonan, National Secretary of the Construction and General Division of the CFMEU, and Vice-President of BWI Asia Pacific Region, addressed the International Labour Conference in Geneva, sharing the union’s resistance to the Australian Government’s anti-people agenda and the union's demand to #changetherules for better and more secure jobs.
The CFMEU and other construction unions have been in the direct firing line of that agenda, including being targeted by a Royal Commission, an industry-specific “watchdog” that violates workers’ basic human and worker rights, as well as other special rules intended to limit their effectiveness.
“Last year the CFMEU, the ACTU and the BWI filed a joint complaint to the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association regarding the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC)”, said Noonan.
Noonan described how the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) massively increases penalties for so-called ‘unlawful industrial action’ and grants coercive investigative powers in violation of the right to silence.
“Despite the millions spent to try and hold us back, this poorly orchestrated attack on construction workers’ rights is falling to pieces”, said Noonan, “while our trade union movement is going from strength to strength.”
Noonan also mentioned the efforts of trade unions in the Philippines “exposing the dictatorial tendency of President Duterte and making him accountable to more than 13,000 deaths on the fake war against drugs and failing to fulfil his election promise to end contractualisation.”
He also noted the struggles of unions in Cambodia, Fiji, and South Korea to ensure their governments comply with core. ILO Conventions.
Noonan ended his intervention announcing the support of BWI for the adoption of an ILO Convention, accompanied by a Recommendation, on “Violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work”, with a strong focus on the gender dimension of violence.