Australia COVID-19: Unions and industry work together to keep workers safe and construction going

25 March 2020 13:30

The CFMEU Construction and General Division, the Master Builders of Australia and other major construction industry players are all in agreement that building work must continue despite the COVID-19 crisis.“

At this stage, together with the advice from health authorities, we are negotiating with employers to ensure their responsibility to provide the workers with all of extraordinary safety and health precautions that are required on site,” said CFMEU Construction and General National Secretary Dave Noonan (who is also the BWI Asia-Pacific Regional Vice President) in a video shared on facebook.

“If you believe that there are breaches of hygiene or overcrowding on sites, it’s important that you let the unions know. Our industry is a big part of the Australian economy and the consequences of a shut-down are very serious,” continued Noonan, outlining necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus and necessary steps to protect workers. 

“But rest assured, the union is here to support you, and whatever happens, your union is going to be at the forefront of working for safety and jobs for the economic security of our members.” 

BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson called on all workers to ensure their health and safety as different countries try to contain the pandemic. “There is nothing more important than workers’ safety and health, but it shouldn’t be viewed in isolation. Unions need to be active to ensure that measures to protect worker health don’t compromise their livelihoods.”