Media releases

Failed prosecution requires strengthening of industrial manslaughter laws

The shock decision today by the ACT public prosecutor to drop the industrial manslaughter case against Schwing Australia for the death of Ben Catanzariti highlights serious limitations with the industrial manslaughter laws. The industrial manslaughter laws were introduced in the ACT in 2003 to ensure that workplaces in Canberra are as safe as possible. It …

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International Workers Memorial Day: Thursday 28 April

International Workers Memorial Day will be commemorated in Canberra on Thursday 28 April at the National Workers Memorial Day at 11am. The commemoration is part of national and global ceremonies to recognise the tragedy of workplace accidents and deaths, the vast majority of which are preventable. In Australia, 193 workers were killed in 2015, almost …

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Amendments to workplace privacy laws will expose working people to covert surveillance

UnionsACT has serious concerns that changes to the Workplace Privacy Act due to be debated on Thursday in the ACT Assembly will give undue powers to employers and insurance companies to spy on workers outside the workplace. The bill, introduced by Justice Minister Shane Rattenbury, will expose public and private sector workers to being covertly …

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Unions launch Canberra’s largest community campaign

Unions will come together tonight to launch Canberra’s largest ever community campaign. The campaign, called ‘We Are Union’, will call for stronger public services, secure jobs, quality health care, better resourced schools and a fair tax system. The campaign will benefit from several years of innovation and learning from highly successful union campaigns in Victoria, …

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Commentators and politicians should be responsible in debating proposed ABCC bill

Politicians and commentators should be measured and responsible in discussing the proposed reintroduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and Building Code, said UnionsACT secretary Alex White today. It is very important for commentators and politicians to avoid misrepresenting what the Building Code and ABCC are and their scope. Uncritically repeating the partisan, politically …

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UnionsACT statement on procurement MOU

UnionsACT notes with disappoint the misleading statements by Minister Michaelia Cash, Liberal Senator Zed Seselja and Canberra Liberal leader Jeremy Hanson regarding the memorandum of understanding on procurement. A fact sheet regarding the MOU is here. The memorandum of understanding of understanding was first agreed in 2005. It has been subject to parliamentary questioning and …

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UnionsACT statement on resignation of Mark McCabe

UnionsACT thanks Mark McCabe for his service to and promotion of workplace safety for working people in the ACT. Mr McCabe was responsible for implementing a range of improvements to workplace safety, including commencing implementation of the Getting Home Safely Report. Unions have appreciated the cooperative approach taken by Mr McCabe towards unions and employee …

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Government must act to prevent exploitation of student workers

The ACT Government must ensure that measures are introduced to prevent the serious and systematic workplace exploitation of local and international students. Both domestic and international students who take on part-time work face serious underpayments in the hospitality, retail and contract cleaning industries. Exploitation can include underpayments, no access to workers’ compensation, non-payment of superannuation, …

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Key test of credibility for next Education Minister

The first credibility test for the new Education Minister will be to address the serious and systematic exploitation of school cleaners in ACT schools. School cleaners, many who are refugees and from non-English speaking backgrounds, have experienced serious exploitation, wage theft and safety issues. Unions first brought these matters to former Minister Burch’s attention in …

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UnionsACT acknowledges that it works on the land of the Ngunnawal people, and we pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. 

Authorised M Harrison for UnionsACT, 11 London Circuit, Canberra.

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