John Setka, secretary CFMEU VIC/TAS branch and Rebecca Casson, CEO Master Builders Victoria, agree that during challenging times it is critical that all stakeholders work together to ensure the protection of both workers and the building and construction industry.
Master Builders Victoria (MBV) and the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union's (CFMEU) Victoria and Tasmania branch have made clear their commitment to work together to ensure a pipeline of work for the building and construction industry, to guarantee jobs are kept, "as far as is reasonably practicable and businesses remain solvent". Additionally, the duopoly calls for considerable measures from the State Government to consider the protection of the building and construction industry.
"It is essential that decisions made in relation to building and construction sites are done so in the context of a rigorous understanding of the environment in which people work," says a release sent yesterday, and that the controls currently in place are being implemented. The building and construction environment is significantly different from many others when it comes to the ability to socially distance on sites and isolate groups.
Setka and Casson also agree that special consideration must be given to the building and construction industry in regard to blanket closures related to COVID-19. Both parties have pledged their commitment to not only protect community health, but also limit the broader community impact if the industry is brought to a standstill. "However," says the release, "if there is a requirement for a site closure, or closures, due to community health reasons, the MBV and CFMEU VIC/TAS should be jointly consulted to enable forward planning."
Setka and Casson plan to work with leadership and government bodies, such as the Victorian Chief Health Officer, to ensure the safety and well-being of their collective memberships and the community.
The CFMEU and MBV joined a united delegation including the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU), Civil Contractors Federation (CCF), Electrical Trades Union (ETU), Master Plumbers, National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) and Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union (PPTEU) yesterday to put their case forward to the Premier’s office.