Deregulation of safety threatens lives: AWU

THE Australian Workers Union (AWU) has used the recent rescue of mine workers in the Ballarat goldfields to voice its concerns about the Government’s WorkChoice laws.

AWU Acting National Secretary Paul Howes said the Union’s Victorian branch earlier this year had to bring in government inspectors because of safety breaches at the Ballarat Goldfields.

“Unfortunately the Howard Government’s WorkChoice laws actually makes it illegal for us to demand proper independent union sponsored safety training,” he said.

“The AWU and our members can suffer hefty fines for making this basic demand for decent independent safety training from mine managers who too often cut corners to make extra profits.

“The union continually seeks to educate our membership – and the management – of the need for ‘constructive skepticism’.”

Paul Howes

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