Monday, 10 February 2014

Abbott & Co are in the media attacking unions but I haven't heard them say a word about this

The Abbott Government is keen on attacking unions in the media and is establishing a royal commission into union finances, but it is silent on instances like this involving employers.

The Daily Telegraph 5 February 2014:

Builders, subcontractors and suppliers who are reportedly owed $30 million have downed tools at a construction site in St Leonards after Steve Nolan Constructions went into external administration.
The workers are protesting at a site on the Pacific Highway where 95 one and two bedroom apartments with either single or double parking are being constructed. According to the Ralan Group website the units have all been sold.
However, the owner of the Ralan Group William O'Dwyer said that the missing money was not from his company's pockets....
"We have paid Steve Nolan Constructions every single dollar of every single invoice, and now with them going into administration it is going to cost us millions more to get the work completed."
But a stop-work outside the site today suggested that money wasn't filtering through to the workers who are still building the block.
The president of Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union NSW Construction Rita Mallia said that builder Steve Nolan Constructions had gone into administration owing $30 million.
The collapse affects five building sites in Lindfield, St Leonards, Roseville and Gordon, where apartment blocks are being constructed for developer, the Ralan Group.
Ms Mallia said that the company's collapse could have a domino effect on the subcontractors involved with some of the small family businesses owed as much as $2 million.

Steve Nolan Constructions Pty Ltd donated $200,000 to the Liberal Party of Australia in 2012-13 - $150,000 to its NSW Division and $50,000 to the national body.

In 2013-14 this company also donated $50,000 to The Free Enterprise Foundation which is a political entity of the Liberal and National parties.

“This problem has now come to Premier O’Farrell’s doorstep,” says Mallia.
“A year after Bruce Collins QC made his recommendations on how to protect workers and sub-contractors caught in company collapses, the Government has yet to act on any major recommendations.
“Now we know why – the builders and developers who don’t want this legislation passed are lining the coffers of the Liberal Party.”
The collapse affects about 200 workers and their families who are also set to lose wages and entitlements as a result of Nolan’s failure to pay.
Steve Nolan Constructions had failed to pay sub-contractors on the sites for the past few months.
She says the Ralan Group is telling subbies to write off the money they are owed and they will pay them to just finish the job.
“It is morally corrupt for the Ralan Group to ask these family-owned businesses take a $2 million loss while it is sitting pretty to reap millions in profit from Sydney’s housing boom.
Mallia says the CFMEU is calling on the Ralan Group to pay the debts that are owed and local MP, Premier Barry O’Farrell, to step in and help these small business owners.
Anthony Maroun of the Earthworks Group is owed $2.5 million.
He says he is now working with accountants to keep his company going and is lucky he has work on other jobs to give him the cash flow to stay afloat.
“I was working up until last week and they kept promising the money was coming and in good faith I kept working,” he says.
“We definitely can’t write off $2.4 million.”

Twitter is now playing host to this image:

People living on the NSW Northern Rivers will of course remember the long history of the Ramsey network of companies operating in the region and, the lacklustre response of the National Party to problems facing employees.


Anonymous said...

Can't recall hearing them bitch about this either.
In the Business Spectator today:-
Liquidators are continuing to push for $244 million in damages from James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch over the collapse of telco One-Tel, according to The Australian Financial Review.
A hearing has been set for October 13 in the New South Wales Supreme Court in a last ditch attempt to recoup damages from the former board members after previous attempts have fallen short.

John Fraser said...


On the North Coast of Queensland sub contractors and suppliers are waiting to hear what the Abbott gang are going to do about Waltons and the $50 million they are owed :

Or insolvency in construction with losses of $3.4 BILLION !

This is the Abetz response :

Abbott and newman's gang only work for the developers and big business.