As a union, our most important work is making sure that our members get home safely at the end of the day.
It’s a fight that has been going on for generations, a fight that has been spurred on too often by tragedy. We have all seen too many preventable injuries on construction sites caused by bosses who choose to cut corners and put profit ahead of safety.
Last year in Australia, 30 construction workers did not come home. That’s 30 families who have lost a loved one. 30 funerals. Countless construction workers who have lost mates in awful and avoidable circumstances.
Our industry has also seen far too many serious injuries. On average 35 construction workers are injured or killed every day in Australia, that’s one every 9 minutes. It is not good enough, and it’s something we’re fighting to change.
In 2017, we’ll be increasing our focus on safety. The ACT construction industry has one of the worst records for safety in Australia. We have all witnessed injuries and near-misses that should never have happened. While we maintain good relationships with most companies, we still come across too many bastard builders and dodgy developers who are prepared to put workers at risk just to increase their profits.
We’ll be launching a fresh campaign this year that aims to expose some of the outrageous behaviour that our members face on an almost daily basis. We’ll be demanding action from the Government to better protect workers. We’ll be calling out the people who put workers at risk, and we’ll never take a backward step in our fight for safer workplaces.
That is our pledge to our members, the construction industry and the wider ACT community – in 2017, we will keep the bastards honest