Unions rubbish plan to roll back workplace entry rights
GLADSTONE unions have rubbished a move by Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie to roll back legislation to ensure unions can't enter worksites for the sake of delaying operations.
The Attorney-General said on Friday he would introduce amendments to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to make sure unions provided at least 24 hours' notice before coming onto a work site for an OH&S inspection following a suspected incident or near-miss.
"For too long, we have seen construction unions using safety as an industrial weapon in this state," he said.
"Quite frankly, their abuses of the current right of entry provisions are designed to bully contractors until they get their way."
However, unions have denied using protections to burst on to sites, insisting they first have to have a good reason for going on to a site.
"You need to have a health and safety rep or a worker saying that there's a serious issue, and that issue is a contravention of the act," Jason Miners, a local organiser for the Maritime Union of Australia, said.
Unions have the right under the act to go to a site to make inquiries about a possible contravention of the act.
They are also only required to inform employers of their presence after they have arrived.
"It's that first 24 hour-period where if there's going to be bullying and harassment from employers," Mr Miners said.