Union Fears QLD Lockout Will Help Cowboy Builders

The debate between union inspectors and builders rages, which has forced the attorney-general to step in to keep union inspectors from bombarding construction sites and interfering with workplace productivity.

On one side of the debate, Australia’s Property Council is pleased with the proposal to modify the Work Health and Safety Act of 2011. On the other side, the Queensland Council of Unions said blocking their ability to inspect construction sites unannounced affords builders the opportunity to cover up dangerous work conditions, which could cost construction workers their lives.

In 2012, seven people died on construction sites in Queensland compared to five lives lost just one year before. The union is out to find and hold accountable so-called “cowboy” builders who do not comply with safety practices and put profit in front of the well-being of their employees.

The Property Council of Australia claims aggressive union tactics are little more than ploys to drive union membership. Union president John Battams said the changes to the Safety Act of 2011 is an example of the government working solely in the interest of big business.

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