Someone has to put this insane fire out! I predict many more will join the strike action in coming weeks if the fire isn’t put out shortly. I know I’ll be there. Firefighters across NSW are flagging the biggest strikes since 1956 as the state’s upper house continued debate on reining in WorkCover.
Firefighters across NSW are flagging the biggest strikes since 1956
Firefighters across NSW are flagging the biggest strikes since 1956 as the state’s upper house continued debate on reining in WorkCover.
Jim Casey, the state secretary of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union, said his members were meeting at 10am (AEST) in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle to decide if a full-scale strike would go ahead at lunchtime.
‘For the first time since 1956, we’ll have done a full walk out,’ Mr Casey told AAP on Wednesday.
As the NSW upper house continued sitting into the early hours of Thursday morning, Shooters Party MP Robert Borsak said he would support changes to rein in WorkCover’s $4 billion deficit.
‘The truth of the matter is the workers’ compensation scheme in its current form is unsustainable and needs fixing,’ the former accountant told the chamber.
Fellow crossbencher Paul Green, from the Christian Democrats, said small businesses paid huge WorkCover premiums, and his party would seek to amend the bill.
‘Little coffee shops are paying huge premiums and before you even open up in the day they’re thousands of dollars behind the eight-ball before they sell one cup of coffee,’ he said.
But Greens industrial relations spokesman David Shoebridge said that under the changes all workers, apart from police, would lose the right to claim for injuries sustained travelling to and from work, a right that dated back to 1926.
‘A construction worker who’s had five days of 12-hour shifts goes home knackered after working 60 hours in five days and crashes their car because they’re fatigued, won’t get a dollar of compensation,’ he said.
The government’s bid to reform WorkCover passed the lower house late on Tuesday night.
Debate in the upper house continued into Thursday morning.