Unions demand tougher safety laws across Australia


Australia’s Unions are demanding tougher safety laws for workers. They’ve made it the catch cry of International Workers’ Memorial Day.

Alexis Moran reports.

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Last year, 157 Australians were killed at work.

Today, friends and colleagues gathered to remember them.

Father Kevin Bourke, Anglican Church: “We share in their sadness, their anger, and their frustration when it appears that company profits have been put before their workers health.”

Unions say, not enough is being done to hold employers accountable.

Ros McLennan, Qld Council of Unions: “Queensland unions are calling for industrial manslaughter laws to be bought in through the whole of Australia.”

This memorial day hit closer to home for Brisbane’s nurses after the death of Solita Honorio last year.

Beth Mohle, Qld Nurses Union: “QMNU is thinking about our member Solita Honorio who was killed when leaving work late last night year she was leaving Prince Charles hospital.”

In Queensland alone, there have been 39 work-related fatalities, with another 15 deaths being investigated in the past year.

Queensland and the ACT are the only jurisdictions which have industrial manslaughter offences, and some are calling for that to change.

Ros McLennan, Qld Council of Unions: “In most places in Australia, employers would only be subjected to a financial penalty and many write that off on insurance, that’s just not good enough it’s an absolute insult to the families of dead workers.”

Alexis Moran, QUT News.