Issue #1523 19 October 2011
Unions warned Shire of dodgy builders
It is no surprise to building unions that Andeco has gone bust leaving Geelong subcontractors and their workers out of pocket. The Golden Plain Shire Council engaged Andeco to build Bannockburn Library, Community and Cultural Hub in 2009 against the advice of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) local organiser, Brendan Murphy.
Murphy said, “I told the Shire that the company did not have a good track record and had gone broke a couple of times before only to surface again with a new name. A lot of people have been burnt before by this lot when they were Royal Como and there are better Geelong builders around to choose from. But they ignored me, now we are stuck in the same situation again.
“I reckon the Shire has a lot to answer for. They are supposed to check that subies have been paid before they hand over more money to Andeco. The Shire is equally responsible for making sure subies and their workers get monies owed for works completed. The Shire is not going to get a free ride out of this. You make your bed, you lie in it.”
The contractors owed money are Tenon Joinery owed $50,000 and ADM Engineering which is owed $12,000.
Peter Douglas, organiser of Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said, “I am appalled that the Shire would hang out to dry a local Bannockburn company that employs local workers without a second glance. There is federal and state money in this project and the work by ADM was completed in good faith.
It is not good enough for the CEO, Nicholls to say ‘we can’t get involved’ when they chose the builder and want to run the job. The reality is that the Shire is involved and now so is the AMWU and the CFMEU. Now it is time to pay up if the rest of the job is to be completed without bad blood”
The unions say until this is resolved they don’t believe that new contractors will take up the work knowing that previous contractors had not been paid for works done.
Next article – Council workers set to see pay and conditions frozen
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