Contributed by Ugly
So the chief of the Australian Building and Construction Commission director Nigel Hadgkiss has come out and admitted, to have recklessly misrepresented union rights to employers for more than two years.
This should be enough to put the nail in the coffin of the government’s vendetta against construction unions. But it won’t, because it remains at the centre of its push to downgrade working conditions across the board. The offensive is not just directed against one group of unions in one industry. The ultimate target is all unions in all industries.
Hadkiss made the admission when the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) produced documents in the Federal Court, revealing his personal involvement in ensuring false information was not corrected despite staff concerns, from January 2014 to July 2016.
Uncovered internal emails show that staff knowingly maintained wrong and improper information on the Australian Building and Construction Commission website.
In a January 2014 internal email, ABCC executive director Jeff Radisch warned the agency was “running something of a political and industrial risk by withholding info on the law as it currently stands”.
The CFMEU accused the agency of misleading employers on key rights that stopped workers from being intimidated by being forced to hold discussions with a union representative in clear view of their employer.
CFMEU national secretary Dave Noonan said Mr Hadgkiss’ position as a regulator “is compromised and untenable, and he should resign immediately”.
“He has taken great care to bring multiple prosecutions against unions and workers over right of entry breaches, but has failed to conduct himself with reasonable care in relation to these same laws, and those parts of the laws which extend some benefit or protection to workers.”
The Federal Court will hold a penalty hearing over Hadgkiss’ misrepresentation this Friday, with maximum fines for individual breaches at $12,600. If there is real justice, they will throw the book at him.