Melbourne rally calls for an end to the ABCC and to work deaths
In Melbourne maritime workers will join other workers in support of the construction workers' battle to rid the industry of the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
It is also a day to commemorate workers who have died on the job.
On construction sites around Australia, workers will stop for a minute's silence to remember their work mates.
The CFMEU is asking the Rights on Site supporters to join in one minute's silence by watching this video.
You can watch the video on you tube at this link.
One construction worker is killed a week in Australia. Hundreds more are injured.
But each year millions of dollars is spent on the Australian Building and Construction Commission, an organisation which undermines workers' rights and safety. That's why the MUA is joining the campaign to get rid of the ABCC and the laws that keep in place.
In 2004-5, prior to the introduction of the ABCC and special laws which discriminate against building workers, 19 workers died on construction sites nationally, but in 2005-6, the figure jumped to 29 and rose again in 2007 to 33 deaths.
Show your support and join the campaign at www.rightsonsite.org.au
Today we also remember fallen comrades in the maritime industry and the union battle for a national code of practice and safer workplaces on ships and on the wharves.
We remember Fallen Comrades
Trevor Moore, Karratha Spirit, NW Shelf, WA, 2008
Richard Maras, Spirit of Esperance, Townsville. Qld, 2008
Bob Cumberlidge, Toll Stevedores, Westernport, Victoria, 2007
Peter Ross, Cape Conway, Appleton Docks, Melbourne, 2007
Dean Robinson, Cape Donington, Adelaide, 2006
and all those who came before them.
Meanwhile ACTU President Sharan Burrow, who will speak at a Brisbane rally said the rising human and economic cost of workplace death should send a strong signal to State and Territory governments that health and safety standards should not be watered down.
A new report from the Australian Safety and Compensation Council conservatively estimates there are 7,000 work-related deaths each year -- more than four times the Australian road toll (see fact sheet).
"Unions support the development of new harmonised national workplace health and safety laws but it is essential the new laws deliver the highest standards and that the rights of every Australian worker are strengthened and not diminished," said Ms Burrow.
"Workplace safety representatives are fundamental to protecting health and safety and unions will vigorously oppose any watering down of their rights and consultation arrangements.
"It is also vital that the new laws allow unions to initiate prosecutions over breaches of workplace safety where other agencies have failed to do so and that the onus is on employers to prove they have provided a safe and healthy workplace.