The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) National Construction Division and Master Builders Australia (MBA) have joined forces to help ensure the construction industry remains strong during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Both organisations are working to sustain millions of workers dependent upon the industry throughout the economic hardships caused by the coronavirus.
As a union and employer group, the organisations are working cooperatively to keep people safe at work, while calling on governments and banks to support the industry and its people through the uncertainty ahead.
In a statement, the organisations said the construction industry accounts for around 10 per cent of the Australian GDP and employs 1.2 million people – around 9.1 per cent of the whole workforce.
The statement said that the health and wellbeing of everyone in the building and construction industry is a priority. This means ensuring the building and construction industry is kept as strong as possible through these times.
It adds that the industry has the capacity to work through health and safety mechanisms to enact social distancing policies in workplaces along with heightened safety measures to protect workers and reduce the risk of infection.
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The organisations suggest social isolation and hygiene measures as discussed with health authorities are already in place on many sites and must be immediately put into place on all sites.
“The strong health and safety culture in the construction workforce means our industry can maintain operations,” the statement reads.
Both organisations call for industry participants to immediately adopt strategies for the appropriate management and containment of any confirmed virus diagnosis while enabling construction activity to continue to keep people in jobs and businesses afloat, where it is safe and appropriate to do so.
The statement goes on to address the importance of support from governments and banks to underpin building activity and protect the livelihoods of construction workers, builders and tradies around the country.
“The government, the industry, unions, clients and the building supply chain must all take proactive steps now to ensure building and construction remains safe and strong to help our whole community through this crisis,” the statement reads.