Unions Shut Down Hospital Construction Sites

More than 100 construction workers walked off 2 construction sites in the ACT on Monday because of safety concerns.

2 Separate hospital construction sites were brought to a stand-still as workers downed their tools because contractors did not abide by the ACT’s Work Health and Safety Act by electing workers to their health and safety committees.

Workers on the 2 Canberra sites are upset about not being consulted over safety issues and because the union uncovered an alleged case of sham contracting.

Workers in ACT walked off the site of a refurbishment of the old maternity building of a hospital just after 10am on Monday due to concerns that the contractor did not elect a worker to be on the Work Health and Safety Committee, as dictated by the law.

It is important that contractors learn from these incidents and are aware that the law dictates they elect members of the workforce to their safety committees in order to filter safety issues to management in a protected way without fear of victimisation, demotion or losing their job.

Another offence to look out for is “sham contracting”. This is when an employer attempts to hide an employment relationship, usually to avoid paying legal minimum rates of pay, tax, and entitlements, both of these practices are illegal and dangerous and should be avoided by contractors as the consequences could be much worse and more costly than it would be to just abide by the rules in the first place. 

 

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