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CTU's Claims Mischievous

Thursday, May 2nd, 2002

CTU President Ross Wilson's call for new laws to jail employers is mischievous and irresponsible, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"Mr Wilson claims that the Australian state of Victoria is passing a law to make employers liable for criminal manslaughter charges inaccurate," said Peter Tritt, EMA's Advisory Services Manager.

"Victoria's Labour Government doesn't control its upper house and the opposition parties have made clear the measure will not proceed.

"Besides this, negligence in the workplace is already covered by existing law which allows charges to be brought against anyone found to cause accident or death of others.

"Introducing a "corporate manslaughter" charge would add nothing to existing provisions.

"This latest claim by Mr Wilson is on the same level as his earlier one saying employers are responsible for over 500 deaths a year.

"If would be interesting to hear whether Mr Wilson is also calling for the prosecution of the Government employees directly responsible for the deaths of 14 young people at Cave Creek. For the want of $20 worth of bolts and a copy of the Building Act that awful event would have been avoided.

"The Amendment to the OH&S law Mr Wilson is so keen on would not have prevented it, and it will not stop one more injury in the workplace.

"Mr Wilson's real motive is merely to entrench union representatives in positions of power in the workplace where they can call a halt to work at any time. The OSH Amendment Bill provides for this, regardless of the merits of the action."


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