Federal election 2016: deals putting (Labor) people first

Federal election 2016: deals putting (Labor) people first, by Grace Collier.

If Labor wins, a certain EBA [enterprise bargaining agreement] will be signed and rolled out across Victoria’s construction sector. Any company that wants government work will have to sign it and have union ­officials sign it too.

In return for union signatures, officials must be kept happy; a “union relationship” will have to be fostered. You may let your imagination run wild with the possibilities.

This EBA will artificially inflate the cost of construction. According to a report from Deloitte, if this EBA is applied over the next four years, citizens will pay $806 million more than they should for things they need built, such as roads and hospitals.

The Labor construction money-go-round works like this; your tax dollars flow from Labor to businesses, from businesses to ­unions, and from unions back to Labor. It is a lucrative racket.

Labor, unions, and some unionists win; everyone else loses.

No one wants construction workers to be poorly paid, and they are not. Deloitte says Victorian unskilled labourers already earn about $151,000 per year and ­carpenters $163,000. If these are the wages that apply to people at the bottom of the ­ladder, can you imagine what the salaries are up the chain? Then there is the cost of all the bribes and ­“entertainment ­expenses”.

If the Coalition wins the election, this EBA will not apply. Any building company that signed it would be denied government work. Construction would occur in accordance with a code of conduct, applied to the building companies. The ABCC would ­enforce it and ensure price rigging did not occur.