International Womens Day - 8th March
Statement – International Women’s Day 2014
Michael O’Connor, CFMEU National Secretary
International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day which celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future while also recognising the existence of a range of barriers to women achieving equality and economic security. The CFMEU recognises that women have made gains in realising some basic rights, but that inequalities persist and continue to disadvantage women. This is evidenced by the fact that women, on average earn $1 million less than men over a lifetime.
The Abbott Government has made and has indicated it is planning to make a series of decisions that will adversely impact working women and thus exacerbate this inequality, namely:
**The removal of the Low Income Superannuation Contribution disproportionately negatively impacts upon low-paid women whose superannuation is already roughly half that of men;
**Joining forces with employers to advocate for sweeping changes to Australia’s safety net in the government submission to the Fair Work Commission’s review of Modern Awards. This has been evidenced by his business advisor calling for a reduction in the minimum wage and Government MPs calling for the removal of penalty rates;
**Winding back gender reporting requirements for companies with more than 100 employees to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. It has been reported that this will be limited to all but the largest companies (those with more than 1000 employees);
**Government moves to limit pay rises awarded under the historic equal pay claim which would adversely affect predominantly women working in the Social and Community Services and Childcare sectors.
The CFMEU condemns these actions and will continue to campaign for policies that advance the interests of our members, their families and communities. The CFMEU continues to work towards improving the representation of women in the workforce and in our Union. The CFMEU National Women’s Conference has formally met since 2010 whilst informally the CFMEU Women’s Committee has been organising since 2008.
To this end, the 2013 CFMEU National Women’s Conference initiated a National Survey of women members in 2014 with the responses to be collated nationally. The survey responses will inform policy development by the CFMEU Women's Committee to ensure the Union better supports women in our industries. I congratulate the National Women’s Committee and the National Women’s Conference for their important work to address these issues, whilst recognising that the Union has much work to do in this critical area of representation for our members.
Women’s rights are human rights and the CFMEU has a long and proud history of promoting and defending the rights of all our members.
MICHAEL O’CONNOR - CFMEU National Secretary
In the News
Media Release 05.03.14 - QCU President John Battams
Right of entry law changes will endanger workers’ lives
Queensland unions say planned changes to right of entry legislation will reduce workers’ rights and increase employee deaths, illnesses and injuries. Queensland Council of Unions President John Battams said suggested changes in the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 would not reduce red tape or compliance costs to industry or make for a more efficient regulatory system. Mr Battams will today address the Parliamentary Finance and Administration Committee as part of a combined union submission on the legislation.
“Unnecessary death, illness or injury of a single worker is unacceptable, particularly since the proposed changes to the Act have no clear benefit for industry,” Mr Battams said. He said claims from the Attorney-General that right of entry was being used as “an industrial weapon” was an inflammatory distraction from the issue of ensuring workplace safety. The Newman government’s proposed amendments seek to require at least 24 hours prior notice by workplace health and safety entry permit holders before they can enter a workplace to inquire into a suspected safety breach. click here to read full story.
Media Release 26.2.14 - CFMEU National Construction Secretary, Dave Noonan
Thiess trying to cover up safety issues on Regional Rail Link job
The CFMEU has accused Thiess of a cover up regarding safety after the company called the police on a union organiser yesterday who tried to get on the Regional Rail Link site. National CFMEU Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said that there had been culture of covering up bad safety practices on the job for some time which the union had fought to address. "In July last year, the CFMEU uncovered that the company was discarding asbestos without going through the proper procedures, putting workers and members of the public at risk." click here to read full story.
31st Delegates Convention - 5th & 6th June 2014
Every two years our branch has a state Delegates Convention. We will be counting on approx. 200 delegates from throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory to attend this year’s convention. The union is committed to rank and file representation to ensure that discussion and decision making truly reflects the ideas and aspirations of the membership. It is your UNION and this is your opportunity to have your say on union policy.
If you would like to attend this year's convention, then please complete the registration form. Closing date for registration and credentialling is Friday 23rd May 2014.