A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has thrown out an earlier decision by Commissioner Bruce Williams to approve an agreement which would have cut workers’ pay to $200 below the minimum legal rate after a legal challenge from the CFMEU.
The Full Bench also found that the employer failed to provide an explanation of the wage cuts to orders when they voted on the agreement.
CFMEU Construction & General Division National Secretary Dave Noonan was livid that it took legal intervention by the Union to stop approval of the agreement.
“This agreement was clearly unlawful and undermined the minimum legal wages and conditions”, Mr Noonan said.
“The Fair Work Act is supposed to protect award standards, but increasingly we’re seeing anti-union Coalition appointed Commissioners waving through agreements which are contrary to the law. In this case an agreement championed and facilitated by the notoriously anti-union Master Builders’ Association.”
“If it wasn’t for the union, this disgraceful deal would be in force, and would already be cutting wages and forcing down industry standards.”
“Under Morrison’s failed Omnibus Bill, which the government is reportedly considering bringing back before the Parliament, the union would have been barred from intervening in this and other similar cases, allowing substandard agreements to sail through unchecked.”
“Meanwhile, the ABCC – which is meant to prevent unlawful activity in the construction industry – continues to stand by and do nothing to protect construction workers from relentless attacks on their wages and conditions.”
Mr Noonan encourage all constrcution workers who are being underpaid or being offered sunstandard terms of employment to get in the Union and fight for better wages.
“The CFMEU will continue to vigorously defend minimum award standards in the construction industry. And every construction worker in the country should get behind that, get in the Union, and fight. That’s the only way workers can win a fair share for themselves and their families.“