In the News
Media Release 2.10.15 CFMEU National Office
1,000 jobs in Latrobe Valley on the line: PM Turnbull must reverse disastrous decision to abandon recycled paper policy
The CFMEU has revealed a shock decision made in the final few weeks of the Abbott Government that has put the future of the Maryvale paper mill - a major Latrobe Valley employer - at risk. Under a policy that had been in place for five years, all Federal government departments were to be required to procure 100% recycled paper this year. But the policy was dramatically scrapped in one of the last acts of the Abbott Government - just before the requirement to purchase recycled paper was meant to come into effect. Australian Paper at Maryvale has been positioning itself to supply Government departments with extra demand for recycled paper as a result of this long-standing policy, investing in a $90 million deinking and recycling plant. The plant has the capacity to produce 50,000 tonnes of recycled paper each year from 80,000 tonnes of waste paper that would otherwise go to landfill. The CFMEU is urging new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to reverse the disastrous decision, which was taken without any consultation. “This backflip is a savage blow to the Latrobe Valley, and to Australian Paper which employs 1000 people. The company has undertaken a major investment on the expectation that the policy would lead to more demand,” said Alex Millar CFMEU Pulp and Paper Federal Secretary. click here to read full story.
Media Release 30.9.15 QCU
Cuts to Paid Parental Leave and penalty rates show new Turnbull is worse than old Abbott
Queensland union members are preparing to defend important working conditions as the Turnbull government reveals its intentions to cut even deeper than the dumped Abbott leadership. Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Ros McLennan said the resumption of Coalition attacks on penalty rates and paid parental leave indicates the Turnbull government now intends to go even further than Tony Abbott. She said new Employment Minister Michaelia Cash’s claim today that weekend penalty rates were “outdated” highlighted how the Coalition could not be trusted to protect penalty rates for low paid workers. “Before Tony Abbott was deposed it was hard to get a straight answer out of anyone in the Coalition on penalty rates but emboldened by a new salesman as leader, they are revealing their real plans,” Ms McLennan said. click here to read full story.
Media Release 28.9.15 CFMEU National Office
Turnbull overrides Parliament and begins implementing ChAFTA
The announcement by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton regarding the availability of 1500 Work and Holiday visas (Subclass 462) has made a mockery of Malcolm Turnbull’s promise of a “new and consultative” Government, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union said. Peter Dutton has announced that some 1500 visas were offered to Chinese Nationals between the ages of 18-30 under a program negotiated under the China Australia Free Trade (ChAFTA) deal. The move will eventually allow 5000 young Chinese into the country at a time when youth unemployment is close to 14 per cent. “The China FTA has not yet been ratified by the Australian Parliament but the new Turnbull Government has steamrolled through one of its most controversial measures,” Michael O’Connor the National Secretary of the CFMEU said. “Youth unemployment is close to 14 per cent and there are already 1.2 million people currently in Australia from overseas with working visa rights. “Malcolm Turnbull promised a new ‘consultative approach’ but the Government did not discuss this measure with either the Opposition or the cross-benchers. click here to read full story.
Workers' Compensation Amendment Bill 2015
Workers and their unions are celebrating the restoration of fairness for working Queenslanders after State Parliament recently passed the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (the Bill).
It was an election commitment from Labor that workers and their unions fought hard to obtain, and fought harder to achieve through the ballot box.
The legislation overturns the 2013 Newman Government laws that removed the rights of workers injured in unsafe workplaces, as well as other unfair changes.
The LNP government had ignored the submissions of many, many experts in removing these protections from workers’ compensation. When it removed these rights, it even ignored the opinion of the LNP chair of the parliamentary committee investigating workers’ compensation.
Queensland unions joined with other community campaigners – the Workcover Protection Coalition and the Australian Lawyers Alliance – to advocate for the rights of injured workers, and to maintain protections for all Queensland workers. Events were held from Coolangatta to Cairns, from Ashgrove to Toowoomba, backed up with radio ads and billboards throughout the state.
Unions campaigned on the issue in 2014 at the Redcliffe by-election and the Stafford by-election. Swings of more than 17 per cent in both ballots shows the community campaign was having a real impact. It also added another to the many reasons to “put the LNP last” at the state election. Repeal of the legislation shows the value of a committed, combined effort from union members and community groups.
Unions will continue to advocate for fairness and workers’ rights, especially on issues such as workplace safety and penalty rates.
Notices and FWC Orders
The Federal Circuit Court has made the following orders dated 23 June 2015 in relation to the Event Cinemas project within the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre at Broadbeach Queensland:
The Federal Circuit Court has made the following orders dated 10 June 2015 in relation to the Event Cinemas project within the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre at Broadbeach Queensland:
Bechtel Curtis Island
FWC has ordered CFMEU to put out the following message. Note that it does not, and cannot apply to protected industrial action. The Fair Work Commission Amended Interim Order requires all industrial action to cease. Members should immediately stop all industrial action and return to work. A copy of the Amended Interim Order is available at the CFMEU Construction and General Division internet site and the CFMEU Construction & General facebook page.
Building and Construction Impairment Policy
The CFMEU has announced its proposal for an impairment policy in the building and construction industry, which also includes testing for drugs and alcohol. We are currently in consultation with our members with regard to the policy. The policy - put together in conjunction with South Australia and Flinders University is about safety in the workplace.
The purpose of this policy is to minimise and recognise all kinds of impairment and related risk to work place health and safety. The policy will recognise that there is a range of factors that can contribute to impairment at work, including mental health, fatigue, chemicals, heat, noise, illness and injury, illegal drugs, alcohol and prescription drugs. click here to read full article.