The anti-union Ensuring Integrity Bill has failed to pass the Senate in Australia after a strong response from the Australian trade union movement and widespread public outcry. The news was announced at the conclusion of the BWI Global Health and Safety Representatives Conference in Perth to a group of BWI OHS delegates from across the world, at a CFMEU training centre.
“We welcome the fact that Senate has stood up for the rights of Australian workers rather than the privilege of big corporations,” said Dave Noonan, National Secretary of the Construction Division of the CFMEU and Deputy President of BWI. “Independent unions are a core part of a healthy democracy, and Government interventions in the movement is a step towards authoritarianism.”
Delegates from across the Asia-Pacific region attending the Regional Conference had engaged in solidarity actions, and others had written to independent senators noting that workers across the region had traditionally looked up to Australia as a bastion for workers’ rights.
“Unions across the country have been vigorously opposing this legislation, which is intended to attack our movement because we defend working people’s fundamental rights,” said ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks. “We know this won’t be the end of the attacks under this right-wing Government, however this victory will galvanise the movement and we will continue to push for a fairer deal for working people.”
“The BWI affiliates around the world joined the global campaign to support the Australian union’s efforts to defeat this anti-union legislation,” said BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson. “We congratulate them in this fight and we will continue to support them in their fight back against the current right-wing government.”