By Bella Fitzpatrick
The ABCC has outraged union groups, workers and even businesses in its dirty attempt to uphold a ban on the display of the Eureka flag, and all Eureka posters, stickers, badges and other items on commonwealth-funded building sites.
The building giant Lendlease is pursuing a legal case against the Australian Building and Construction Commission’s ban on the use of the Eureka flag as a symbol, arguing that union insignia should only be banned if it implied union membership was anything but voluntary.
CFMEU C&G National Secretary Dave Noonan has called that court case a misuse of the ABCC’s power and its position as a government regulator.
“We have hundreds of government inspectors going around trying to censor free speech on building sites by banning posters,”
“It’s just blatant anti-union behaviour. They want to try and censor the fact that unions exist.”
The Eureka flag has been a symbol for Australian Unionism and in particular, militant unionism since 1878. The flag has a close association with stong and militant unions like the CFMEU and it’s predecessor, the BLF, and is associated with the values of fairness, equality, and a struggle against authority.
The ABCC was forced to reveal on Wednesday that its case had cost the taxpayer $487,029 in legal fees and counting.
CFMEU WA State Secretary Mick Buchan has called that case a complete waste of government money, time and resources.
“You can’t really see this case by the ABCC as anything more than government approved anti-unionism.”
“People should be able to loudly and proudly show the Eureka flag, as they have done for over 150 years now.”
“This isn’t about a flag, this is about a bunch of right-wing flogs trying to criminalise standing up for ourselves and each other. Unions fight for fairness, and the ABCC was set up to help dodgy companies get away with not paying a fair and living wage. This is all about attacking workers in any way they can find.”
“But our Union has been around for a long time and seen off far worse than this bunch of flaccid bureaucrats, and we’ll see off these flogs as well.”