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Fact beats fiction: ILO rejects union call to scrap ABCC


An attempted election stunt by the union movement has backfired, with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) rejecting calls for the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and Building Code 2016.

“The ILO has rejected union attempts to put fiction ahead of the facts”, Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

“Instead of condemning the ABCC as unions expected, the ILO rejected allegations that the industry specific industrial relations regulator contravened various international conventions, finding no evidence of breaches or the need to make changes to the current laws,” she said.

“The ILO’s rejection of the attempted union stunt confirms that real facts about the ABCC will always beat union fiction which consistently spruiks slogans that are simply untrue,” Denita Wawn said.

“Hoping for a repeat of previous complaints to the ILO, unions alleged that laws underpinning the ABCC and the content of the Building Code 2016 breached Australia’s obligations as a member-state and as a signatory to specific labour conventions,” she said.

“However, the ABCC laws have changed significantly and now contain more checks and balances than ever before, with the ILO finding no evidence they breached conventions such as the Freedom of Association and the Right to Organise Convention, 1947 (No. 87); the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No 98); and the Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No 81),” Denita Wawn said.

Instead of falling for the union fiction, the ILO report confirms that:

  • None of the provisions within the ABCC laws or Code have been found to be in breach of ILO conventions or decisions.
  • There have been no recommendations for changes to the Code or Act.
  • There are no findings that call the lawfulness or legitimacy of the Code or Act into question.

“The ILO made only four recommendations in its report, two of which are already required within the legislation which underpins the ABCC,” she said.

“The ILO report only confirms that the ABCC is necessary to protect the community and workers from the consequences of building union bullies and that special rules must remain to stamp out unlawful and illegal behaviour on building sites,” Denita Wawn said.

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