Construction the drag on productivity

Original article by David Marin-Guzman, Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 4-Dec-19

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s analysis shows that the construction sector was the biggest contributor to the decline in the nation’s labour productivity in 2018-19. The central bank’s Statement on Monetary Policy notes that this may be due to construction firms retaining idled workers in the hope that the residential development sector will rebound. However, the RBA’s analysis could weaken the CFMMEU’s recent proposal for annual pay rises of five per cent for New South Wales building workers.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Construction falls for fifth quarter running

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 28-Nov-19

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that residential construction activity fell by 3.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to September, to $18.3bn in seasonally adjusted terms. Meanwhile, engineering construction declined by 0.2 per cent in the September quarter, to $21.1bn, although non-residential construction increased by four per cent to $11.4bn. Gareth Aird of the Commonwealth Bank says the residential construction sector continues to be a drag on the economy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Setka not going anywhere, says union

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 25-Oct-19

The CFMMEU’s national conference in Adelaide has passed a motion calling on Labor to oppose exploitative free-trade agreements. Dave Noonan, the head of the union’s construction division, has criticised Labor leader Anthony Albanese for agreeing to support ‘sell-out’ free trade deals. He also said the CFMMEU’s Victorian secretary John Setka had the full support of delegates at the national conference and he will not resign. Noonan added that Setka’s resignation from Labor will have no impact, arguing that many of the CFMMEU’s leaders have not been party members.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

Setka exit deepens Labor rift

Original article by Phillip Coorey, David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 24-Oct-19

The federal government’s hopes of passing the Ensuring Integrity Bill have been boosted by John Setka’s refusal to step down as Victorian secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union. Setka’s resignation from the Labor party on 23 October has pre-empted an upcoming meeting of its national executive, which had been expected to expel him from the party. However, independent senator Jacqui Lambie maintains that she will back the legislation unless Setka also resigns from his CFMMEU role. Setka’s resignation has been welcomed by Labor leader Anthony Albanese, who led the push to have him expelled.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

CFMEU branded a serial offender

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 15-Oct-19

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union and Victorian shop steward Kevin Pattinson have been fined $69,000 in total for preventing an apprentice and an electrician from working on a Melbourne construction site. The court was told that Pattinson had barred the two workers from the site because they were not members of the CFMMEU. The Federal Court’s Justice John Snaden noted that the union is a "serial ­offender" with regard to its lack of compliance with workplace laws.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Tools down if workers hot, sticky

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 11-Oct-19

The Queen’s Wharf project in Brisbane is among the construction sites in southeast Queensland that will be subject to a new hot weather policy. The agreement between the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union and Multiplex will allow building workers to stop work temporarily when the temperature reaches 28C and humidity tops 75 per cent at least three hours before the start of a shift. Master Builders Queensland CEO Grant Galvin says the policy will be an occupational health and safety nightmare, and he warns that it could be exploited by the CFMMEU.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, BROOKFIELD MULTIPLEX LIMITED, MASTER BUILDERS’ ASSOCIATION OF QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING WORKERS’ UNION, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION

Union activities may breach building codes

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 30-Sep-19

The Australian Building & Construction Commission has warned that the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s draft pattern agreement includes clauses that breach the federal building code. Amongst other things, the New South Wales agreement allows union flags to be displayed on building sites and provides for workers to be paid for attending union meetings during bargaining. Master Builders Australia says the agreement as the most restrictive it has seen.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED

Setka forks out $40k of members’ funds on ad

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 26-Sep-19

Embattled Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union official John Setka has criticised senator Jacqui Lambie in a full-page advertisement in the ‘Herald Sun’. Lambie has signalled that she will support the federal government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill unless Setka steps down as Victorian secretary of the CFMMEU. Setka has accused her of attempting to blackmail himself and the union’s members. A spokesman for Setka says the ad was "union business", so it was funded by the CFMMEU rather than Setka.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Dark clouds over construction

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 29-Aug-19

Westpac economist Andrew Hanlan has warned that the downturn in Australia’s construction sector will have weighed on GDP growth in the June quarter. The latest GDP data will be released in early September, and analysts have forecast that the economy grew by just 1.2 per cent in the year to June, which would be its lowest rate of growth since the global financial crisis. Official data shows that construction activity fell by 3.8 per cent in the June quarter, including a 5.1 per cent decline in residential construction.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Red flags for deal that underpaid workers ignored

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 26-Aug-19

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union has successfully challenged the Fair Work Commission’s decision to approve an enterprise agreement at A1 Earthworx Mining & Civil. The full bench of the FWC overturned the agreement after ruling that some staff would have been paid at 3.8 per cent below the award rates and it would have limited the employees’ access to Sunday penalty rates. The agreement had been approved by deputy president Geoff Bull, who has been ordered to reconsider the agreement.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, A1 EARTHWORX MINING AND CIVIL