Ark Tribe is a construction worker from South Australia facing six months in jail. He has been charged with not attending an interview with the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
Ark was working on the Flinders University site in Adelaide. Conditions were so bad that workers drew up a petition calling for safety improvements, on a handtowel.
It took an intervention by the union and the state government safety regulator to get the most pressing problems fixed and finally, after several days, things began to get back on track.
One by one workers from the site were called before the ABCC.
The penalties for those who don’t cooperate with ABCC investigations are frightening – fines of up to $22,000 for things like stopping work to make sure workers are safe and jail for up to 6 months if you don’t answer their questions. Even the police don’t have the powers the ABCC have.
In Ark’s words, “If I’ve done something wrong, I’m prepared to cop it, but I won’t be treated unfairly.”
Ark will be appearing in Elizabeth Magistrates Court (15 Frobisher Road, Elizabeth) in Radelaide on August 11, 2009. Ark has a blog — Ark’s Tribe — and more deets on the ABCC may be found @ the Rights On Site… site. Ark’s Tribe is gathering @ Twitter.
See also : ABCC, John Holland, West Gate Bridge (May 10, 2009) | International Day of Mourning (April 29, 2009)…
…What would Jesus do? Jesuit Social Services ♥s WorkChoices (December 10, 2008) | Global Day of Action Against Starbucks : July 5, 2008 (July 2, 2008) | Eureka Flag Banned?!? Time To Rebel! (November 19, 2007).
Extra Added Bonus! (Song For Ark)
Hear the drums… they come from the sea
Bring the tribal spirit on me
Cause my pride and my roots I believe
No, this tribe you can’t take it from me