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Issue #1766      February 22, 2017

Reject laws – keep sites safe

Angry construction workers gathered on the steps of parliament in Adelaide last Wednesday to make clear their rejection of laws hindering the CFMEU in its efforts to keep building sites safe. The mood was worsened with the announcement the previous Friday that charges against the builder of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital over the death of construction worker Jorge Castillo-Riffo 27 months ago were to be dropped. Jorge was crushed by a scissor lift and the matter was to go to trial three days later.

Pam Gurner-Hall, Jorge’s partner of 14 years, addressed the crowd and read the impact statement she was intending to present to the court. CFMEU General and Construction SA state secretary Aaron Cartledge, national president Joe McDonald, national secretary Dave Noonan and SA Unions secretary Joe Szakacs also hammered the complicity of big business and reactionary political forces to prevent unions doing their vital job in the area of occupational health and safety. SA has the most restrictive right of entry requirements of any state in Australia.

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