Workers unpaid on Bendigo hospital project demand answers from Lend Lease

Published: 2 Apr 2016

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union today joined workers and their families from the Bendigo Hospital Project as they converged on the headquarters of Australia’s largest construction company Lend Lease to demand unpaid wages.

In a last ditch effort to get answers, the workers employed by Asset Interiors on the Victorian Government hospital project, sought an audience with the head contractor responsible the $630 million dollar project; Lend Lease.

“Lend Lease’s senior management were warned by the union in December 2015 that these workers were being systematically underpaid and exploited.” CFMEU National Construction Division Secretary Dave Noonan said.

“It doesn’t stand to reason that the workers that build these critical public assets are forced to come down to the headquarters of the builder, in desperation, to demand they get paid,” Mr Noonan said.

“There’s a name for people who don’t get paid for work, they’re called slaves.

“At the end of the day the people with their name on the gate, the head contractor Lend Lease, have got a moral responsibility to ensure these workers are paid.

“The Turnbull Government have carried on in the tradition of the Abbott Government, by making union bashing their core business, while, across Australia, people have to fight to get paid for the work that they do.”

A spokesperson for the group of workers, Abel Jian, said the families of the workers were struggling to survive while their employer withheld payments.

“Our message is come out and talk to us, we’re hard workers and at the end of the day we can’t survive without our pay,” Mr Jian said today.

“Some of us have young kids so it’s very difficult.”