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Workers' lives are at risk after Federal Court ruling

Victorian Trades Hall Council is appalled by today’s ruling from the full bench of the Federal Court, which limits the ability of health and safety representatives to take action that makes workplaces safer and ultimately saves lives, in favour of allowing the ABCC and Turnbull Government to pursue their ideological crusade against union members.

The Victorian OHS Act empowers a health and safety representative to invite any person with sufficient OHS knowledge to a workplace to assist the them with safety matters. Today’s decision undermines that power, putting barriers in place to stop health and safety experts coming on site to help make sure workplaces are safe.

Quotes Attributable to Luke Hilakari, Secretary Victorian Trades Hall Council:

Today’s decision from the Federal Court tells us two things. First, that the Liberals value smashing unions more than the safety of workers. Second, the Fair Work Act is broken and must be changed.

Health and safety representatives can’t waste time jumping through hoops to please the ABCC when workers’ lives are at risk. The safety of workers is their first priority, and it should be the government’s.

Something is seriously wrong with the industrial relations laws in this country when a union official can’t step on a worksite to help prevent death or injury without Malcolm Turnbull’s industrial police force, the ABCC, getting in the way.

The Turnbull Government needs to dump the ABCC, and tear up these rotten laws. How many more workers have to die before the Liberals drop their constant attacks on working people?

 

Media: jraynes@vthc.org.au or 0405 829 809

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