Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Construction workers stop work

Chris Latham

On January 18, construction workers on a number of Perth building sites walked off the job over fears that a heavy haze that has been affecting Perth was hazardous to outdoor workers.

The stoppages caused outrage from construction companies and the West Australian. The Master Builders Association accused the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union of seeking excuses to flex its industrial muscle. The CFMEU's success in winning improved conditions for workers building the southern rail line was a particular focus of the anger.

According to the Department of Environment, the haze, caused by the bushfires that began on January 16 and burnt out more than 25,000 hectares in the hills east of Perth, had released the highest ever recorded levels of smoke particles in the air. The department's four monitoring stations reported air particle levels that exceeded the allowable level of 50 micrograms per cubic metre during the week. While there is no monitoring in the Perth central business district, the department estimated that on January 19 and 20 the level was 100 micrograms per cubic metre.

From Green Left Weekly #613\.

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Revitalising Labour attempts to reflect on efforts to rebuild the labour movement internationally, emphasising the role that left-wing political currents can play in this process. It welcomes contributions on union struggles, internal renewal processes within the labour movement and the struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

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