The Advertiser yesterday made an important common-sense call to the union movement: focus on jobs, not backing militant unions investing member dues in thuggery and law-breaking (“Breaking laws is a bad state for the union”, 30/3/17).
Incoming ACTU secretary Sally McManus has repeated her support of CFMEU tactics of breaking the law. Claims that these have been linked to fatalities have been disproven, and the Federal Court has repeatedly recorded the union’s absolute disregard of our legal framework.
The South Australian community and taxpayers directly suffer from this. CFMEU members paid an estimated $2 million in fines and legal fees for a spate of breaches in 2014-15, but the community gets saddled with higher construction costs and runovers as illegal stop-work actions hold up projects. South Australia needs to focus on improved productivity if we are to attract investment – and at the end of the day, that investment means one thing: jobs.
Our State has one of the highest rates of unemployment across the country, and recently added another shameful record: the highest rate of unemployed youth. Apprentice numbers have more than halved over the last five years, and South Australia has one of the worst record.
Jobs, jobs, jobs. That’s where the focus needs to be.
The Australian public and the building and construction industry that works with them deserve and need people focusing on building future opportunities, not breaking laws.
Chief Executive Officer, Master Builders SA
(This is a copy of the letter published in The Advertiser on 31 March 2017. It can be downloaded in PDF form here.)