Calls for independent Inquiry into Nigel Hadgkiss' appointment to ABCC

Published: 18 Sep 2017

Nigel Hadgkiss head of the ABCC has been forced to resign in absolute shame after contravening the Fair Work Act. The very act he is supposed to enforce.

For the Turnbull Government and Michaelia Cash to put so much faith in someone like him , just goes to show how out of touch they are!

Hadgkiss, the head of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, admitted to a reckless contravention of section 503 of the Fair Work Act in relation to the ABCC’s publication of incorrect information about right of entry rules. The admission was made in an Agreed Statement of Facts handed to the Federal Court in Sydney.

“Nigel Hadgkiss admitted his conduct was reckless. We believe the result of that recklessness is that the industry was misled on a key issue affecting workers’ rights,” CFMEU National Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said.

“He has taken great care to bring multiple prosecutions against unions and workers over right of entry breaches, but has failed to conduct himself with reasonable care in relation to these same laws, and in particular those parts of the laws which extend some benefit or protection to workers.

Under current right of entry rules in the Fair Work Act, there is a provision that lunch rooms are to be the default location for union officials to conduct meetings with workers, should the employer and union official not agree to a suitable location.

The laws are important as workers could be intimidated by being forced to hold discussions with their union representative in clear view of their employer. The current law has been in place since January 2014.

For over two years, from 2014 until the CFMEU complained to the ABCC in 2016, multiple ABCC publications on right of entry laws did not accurately describe this provision, and incorrectly asserted that union officials had to comply with the employer’s wishes on the location of meetings.

While the ABCC had ensured the correct legal position was known internally to its own staff, it disseminated incorrect information to the public and across the industry.

Michaelia Cash knew about the Union's court proceedings against Hadgkiss since at least October 2016 - almost a year – meanwhile she pushed through legislation to reintroduce the ABCC and its building code with Hadgkiss at the helm.

It’s one thing to see off an overpaid, out of touch, partisan public servant who misused their position and harassed construction workers, now we’ve got to see off the government that put him there!