Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Construction union wins big pay rise

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Members of the construction workers union in Victoria (CFMEU) have won a 15% pay rise over the next 3 years. Not only does the workplace agreement allow for above-inflation pay rises, but it also forces employers to provide female amenities on building sites as well as access to parental leave and paid family violence leave.

Unsurprisingly there has been an outcry over the deal from the top end of town. The Liberal Party not only wants to see the reinstatement of the ABCC to curtail the union’s ability to negotiate above-inflation pay rises, but they have claimed that “coercion” was used to get the results.

Above-inflation pay rises should be fought for at every workplace. Any pay rise below inflation is technically a pay cut. What is particularly malicious though is the accusation of “coercion”. The union did nothing more than bargain collectively.

In an industry where work can be plentiful one minute and non-existent the next, decent wages are a necessity. At the moment the construction bosses are making unimaginable profits. The crux of the issue is whether this money goes to those who actually construct the buildings or whether it is squandered by greedy capitalists on yachts.

By Corey Snoek


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