The CFMEU is calling on the Queensland Government to overhaul the laws governing the conduct of “unscrupulous” developers following the dramas surrounding the troubled $1 billion Jewel project on the Gold Coast.
Construction workers and contractors across Queensland were forced out of work earlier this month after developer Yuhu Group Australia reportedly sought to alter the contractual scope of the project.
Although workers returned to the site this week after a guarantee of job security until Christmas from builder Multiplex, CFMEU Divisional Branch Secretary Michael Ravbar says the cause of the problems which saw workers down their tools remains unresolved.
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“This is a brutal example of bad laws that put the interests of big money way ahead of the wellbeing of workers and contractors, and urgent legislative reform to prevent a repeat of this corporate thuggery is needed,” Mr Ravbar said.
“This is not an isolated problem, but a legislative failure that leaves the leaves construction workers and contractors across Queensland hanging out to dry.”
Mr Ravbar said he’s calling on the state government to review the laws, and give the Queensland Building and Construction Commission the power to regulate developers.
“A failure to act swiftly on this sends a message to developers that they are free to alter contract terms, and cast workers adrift, at a whim and with little or no consequence,” he said.
“Construction workers know exactly what needs to change and will campaign relentlessly until we see meaningful reform.”
It comes after Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate labelled the Union’s week-long strike a “stunt” because no work was taking place at the site.
“I know they [Yuhu Group Australia] are planning to issue a tender for the works they want completed,” Cr Tate said.
“They are the owners and it is their decision, no one else’s, as to when they want to recommence work.
“The unions can make any public statement they like about how they are ready to restart work there. That’s a stunt. The site is closed so they [Unions] can say what they like.”