Thursday, February 08, 2018

Building union official threatened to 'smash' company over refusal to sign deal

Construction union officials have been found liable for trying to force building company BKH Group to sign a pattern enterprise agreement at two Sydney building sites by threatening to "smash" their jobs if they refused.

The court also concluded that officials had stopped concrete trucks from entering a building site by sitting on the bonnets of cars to stop them being towed away.

The Australian Building and Construction Commission had alleged CFMEU official Darren Taylor threatened to "smash" jobs as a warning to other contractors against refusing the union's EBA.

Federal Court Justice Geoffrey Flick concluded that CFMEU officials threatened action against the company "with intent to coerce".

He said the union sent a "simple message" that formwork companies were to sign the enterprise agreement proposed by the CFMEU "otherwise the union would pick one of them and 'smash' the company selected"

A text message which said "eenie, meenie, minie mo" sent by union official Robert Kera in February 2015 was found to have been sent as a threat to reinforce a message that one formwork company was to be selected at random. Mr Kera did not give evidence.

"The conclusion that the text was sent as a threat and was intended as a threat is a conclusion founded upon both the terms themselves and also the context in which the text was sent," Justice Flick said.

Justice Flick accepted that union official Ben Garvey deliberately kicked a safety handrail until it fell in March, 2015 and then instructed workers to leave the project citing a lack of safety rails.

The judge concluded "that there was no reasonable basis upon which any opinion could be formed that the handrail was unsafe".

"Any suggestion that Mr Garvey was simply testing the strength of the safety rails is rejected; his conduct was that of a man intent on creating disruption and generating a safety concern where none previously existed," Justice Flick said.

A penalty decision will follow the liability finding against the CFMEU and its officials.


Aboriginal boxer Mundine: ‘Women should not wear skirts above the knee’

Some realism there

CONTROVERSIAL boxer Anthony Mundine says women shouldn’t wear skirts above the knee.

Speaking to campmate Jackie Gillies in the South African jungle camp on I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!, the 42-year-old said the belief is a protection to stop “other men lusting over your women”. “You want to protect your women,” Mundine said.

“You don’t want other men having prerogative thoughts about your girl or your daughter.”

Mundine is Muslim and prior to going into the jungle told News Corp he doesn’t believe in homosexuality, abortion or contraception. He has seven children to four different women.

“She can wear a dress … not a short skirt, not above the knees. That is just the way I am, it is the way I feel, the way I think.”

When asked by Gillies if it is right to tell “somebody what to do”?

“For their own good,” he responded.

“Everything in society that the creator has made unlawful, the west are making it lawful. It doesn’t matter if we were born naked. There’s garments. That was back in that time. You don’t understand because you are not built like me, you wouldn’t understand a man’s point of view. You can’t understand.”

Later, Mundine told producers: “I’m not sure if I got through to her [Jackie Gillies]. I just had to let her know where I was coming from.”

Some viewers weren’t impressed by Mundine’s comments and took to Twitter to label him a “sexist a**hole”.


Electricity prices have jumped by 12.4 per cent over the past year, six times the rate of the average pay rise, new figures reveal

There are a lot of windmills that need to be paid for

The surge will fuel concerns among policymakers over energy and household budgets as Parliament gets ready to resume next week, with both parties putting reducing cost of living pressures as their key policy pitches to voters this year.

The price of fruit, fuel, tobacco and holiday accomodation also surged in the three months to December to drive the Consumer Price Index up to 1.9 for the year.

The 0.1 per cent annual increase from the September quarter was driven almost entirely by gains on the east coast, with Sydney and Melbourne all recording price rises above 2 per cent.

"While the annual CPI rose 1.9 per cent, annual inflation in most east coast cities rose above 2.0 per cent, due in part to the strength in prices related to housing," said Australian Bureau of Statistics chief conomist, Bruce Hockman.

"Softer economic conditions in Darwin and Perth have resulted in annual inflation remaining subdued at 1.0 and 0.8 per cent respectively."

The most significant price rises were fuel, up 10.4 per cent, domestic holiday travel up 6.3 per cent and fruit up 9.3 per cent.

In the shopping aisles beer drinkers could soon become wine drinkers, after the amber brew doubled at twice the rate of the average pay rise,  up 3.7 per cent for the year to December,  while wine managed a 0.9 per cent jump, generating a cheaper drop for consumers than this time last year.

Driving anxiety among parents, the cost of schooling is far outpacing inflation with primary and pre-school costs in the three months to December helping education rise by 3.2 per cent, stoking concerns amomg those balancing school fees with torpid wage growth.

Secondary schooling fee rises are even more daunting hitting 4.1 per cent for the year, double the rate of an average wage rise at 2 per cent.

The ABS found the rises were partially offset by drops in the cost of international holiday travel, audio visual and computing equipment and telecommunication equipment and services.


The beginning of the end for Bill? Damning poll finds half of Australia wants anyone but Shorten to run the Labor Party - as Malcolm Turnbull extends his lead as preferred PM

A new poll has revealed almost half of all voters want someone other than Bill Shorten to lead the Opposition.

Even among Labor voters only 37 per cent back Mr Shorten as leader, the first Newspoll for 2018 revealed.

The poll has the Coalition trailing Labor 48-52 per cent after preferences, a slight improvement on its standing at the end of 2017.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has extended his lead as preferred prime minister to 14 points over the Opposition Leader.

'Bill Shorten has got the most anti-business, the most anti-investment, the most anti-jobs policy of any Labor leader since Whitlam,' Mr Turnbull said on Sunday.

Mr Shorten denied he had an image problem, and said he believed Australians were tired of 'gotcha poll questions' and games.  '[Voters] want to know what we're going to do for people, they don't want to hear us talking about ourselves,' Mr Shorten said.

On Sunday Mr Shorten announced Labor government would cap private health insurance increases to two per cent for two years.

Mr Turnbull hit back by saying it showed Labor was producing 'policy on the run' and risked causing the private health sector to collapse.

'These are private companies. They're in a very competitive market. The reality is Labor wants to destroy private health insurance,' he told the ABC.

The improved showings for the government and Mr Turnbull have buoyed federal Coalition MPs as they head into the new parliamentary year.

'The truth is we are in good space,' cabinet minister Christopher Pyne told ABC radio on Monday.  'This is going to be a very bleak year for Bill Shorten, unfortunately the public have found him out,' Mr Pyne said.

The Newspoll showed over 49 per cent of all voters would prefer another Labor leader.

Deputy leader Tanya Plibersek (25 per cent) is preferred leader among all voters closely followed by Anthony Albanese (24 per cent) with Mr Shorten on 22 per cent. Among Labor voters, Mr Shorten led Ms Plibersek (27 per cent) and Mr Albanese (23 per cent) with 37 per cent.

Mr Albanese said he was busy enough in his own portfolio without thinking about challenging for the Labor leadership.  'My challenge is doing the right thing by the Australian people as part of Bill Shorten's team,' he told Sky News. 'My loyalty is always to the cause of Labor and the people we represent.'


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

I love that the rise in the cost of essentials is OK because of the offsetting fall in the cost of unnecessary crap.