Building worker Frankie Jameson looked at his boss in a “a quite unsettling fashion”, according to the interim report of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption released in December.
In one of many damning findings of thuggery in the building industry, Jameson, a delegate for the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) at a Melbourne building site for construction company Greedcon, was alleged to have looked “funny” at Greecon manager James Pilkington while Pilkington addressed the site’s workforce.
“It was definitely a scowl,” Pilkington told The (un)Australian of the look he caught while addressing workers in June last year. “All I was doing was gathering the all the lads on the site together after an unfortunate incident in which two pleb…two workers had tragically fallen to their deaths, to explain there was simply no way the company could afford to stop work.
“Then, out of the corner of my eye, I catch Jameson looking right at me with what I can only describe as a pretty hostile look. I mean, I get he was upset at the deaths, and maybe feeling a bit self-righteous as the day before he claimed the site was unsafe, but surely such class hatred is uncalled for in the 21st century.
“To be honest, it made me feel glad that Greedcon was just about to claim bankruptcy to avoid pay-outs to its workforce before starting up again under a new name. You can’t expect a business to operate in such intimidating conditions.”
Other Royal Commission findings include union links with organised crime after Victorian CFMEU secretary John Setka was photographed drinking in the same pub as a high-profile gangster. Although they weren’t in the pub on the same day, or even year, employment minister Eric Abetz told The (un)Australian the evidence “fully vindicated” a Royal Commission that critics alleged was a politically motivated attack to justify laws further restricting union powers.
Among the Royal Commission’s recommendations is a proposal that safety helmets be replaced with cloth caps on all building sites, so workers may doff them whenever their supervisors walk by.