Monday, June 08, 2009

Don't jail Ark Tribe, shut down the ABCC!

The fate of an Adelaide building worker will be decided in the Elizabeth Magistrates court today. Ark Tribe is alleged to have failed to attend an interrogation of the ABCC (Australian Building and Construction Commission) and faces up to six months jail if convicted.

"What we have here is yet another example of why the Federal Government must move immediately to shut down the ABCC," Communist Party of Australia State Secretary Bob Briton said yesterday.

"This body has unprecedented powers, and its existence ensures that workers and their representatives in the building and construction industry are treated differently under the law to other workers."

"Workers and union representatives called to appear before this body are even denied the basic right to remain silent. This places them in a situation worse than that of alleged terror suspects," he continued.

"At the last federal election, the Australian people voted in a Labor government, believing this would lead to the restoration of the rights of workers and unions. The fact that this government has failed to shut down a body of this nature is a breach of faith with the Australian people."

"The government's plan to move the ABCC and its powers within Fair Work Australia is frankly no more than window dressing. It does not alter the fact that this body will still have the power to intimidate and bully building and construction workers and their representatives, and will do little to restore basic fundamental rights", said Mr Briton.

"The Communist Party of Australia totally supports the efforts of construction workers and their unions and calls on the Federal Government to immediately shut down the ABCC," he concluded.

Supporters of Ark Tribe will gather at Elizabeth Magistrates Court at 9am this morning.

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