The main role of unions is to protect the rights of the employees and to make sure that they are not exploited for the sake of profits. Unions can also influence the workers to strike for the sake of environmental conservation, resulting from substandard construction from subcontracting as a way of reducing costs. In a place like Melbourne, there may be a problem because the place is developed and the unions can influence the construction workers to strike for environmental purposes. The unions had succeeded first in Australia in holding strikes to conserve the environment so that it may not be reduced to a financial speculation city and risk losing its value and beauty (Burgmann & Verity 1998 p. 47). This is a concern where the unions may not favor construction for the sake of the environment. Again, the fact that the people to be employed in construction sites may be exploited in terms of remuneration inequality and job insecurity there may be problems with the union (Bosch & Peter, 2003 p.134).
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In Australia, there was a demonstration concerning the construction of high-rise buildings which was termed as a mistake. The authorization of many bad projects in the name of job creation, which was as a result of corrupt officials, was the main concern. The labor unions resulted in mobilizing the followers to strike to conserve the environment and maintain the beauty of the cities in Australia, and at the same time avoid the chances of being exploited financially in their remuneration. For construction to carry on without a lot of interference, or without any at all, it would be necessary for the construction management to have sound and convincing reasons to support the development of high-rise buildings in places like Melbourne, Australia.
For the construction of about thirty stories to go on without much interference from the unions, then the constructor must be able to show a significant benefit to the economy, in terms of stable employment that surpasses the setback of exploitation as many construction workers in Australia are now under union (Bosch & Peter 2003, p.133). The contractor has to show the overall benefit of the construction and the adherence to the standard rates of remuneration to the construction workers. This would be by way of avoiding subcontracting, which aims at reducing cost, thereby victimizing the employees by paying them poorly relative to the amount of work they do.
Secondly, the contractor must come up with direct action solutions. These solutions must be appealing to the idealists and activists who may bring down the whole process by influencing the employees to strike thereby leaving the construction work (Burgmann & Verity 1998, p. 289). Solutions to address the issue of job insecurity and discrimination on the remuneration of the construction employees must be provided. This will send a positive gesture to the union and therefore, there will be less or no interference from it. This will mean that the construction will proceed smoothly.
Thirdly, the constructor, in Melbourne, must show the environmentalists the overall benefits of the construction and that it is in no way an environmental threat so that the union will not mobilize its followers who work for the construction, to strike and make it difficult to continue with the construction process (Burgmann & Verity 1998, p.290). In Melbourne, one of the main setbacks for the construction industry is the fact that they are associated with environmental degradation, where the city would result be a place of financial speculation rather than a place for the people and beauty. This would contribute negatively by leading the union lobbying campaigns and initiating strikes because the purpose of construction is for-profit reasons by the construction company(s) (Burgmann & Verity 1998, p.290).
Fourthly, the construction manager should devise strategies of increased worker participation in the construction (Langford, Robert & Sydney 2002, p. 67). This leads to the workers being actively involved in the work and the trade unions respect the gesture and they use it as a partnership for the benefit of both the workers and the employers in the construction industry. In a place like Melbourne where the history of construction workers’ discrimination is based on poor pay and job security, it would be advisable for the manager to involve the workers in active participation of the construction work and process so that they may be assured of their job security. This would go well with the union because they would not have to worry about losing the jobs of their workers.
The construction process in Melbourne, Australia, is faced with two major challenges, the construction worker welfare, and the environmental challenge. These two challenges must be adequately addressed for the construction to go on without interference from the union. With good remuneration, job security to employees, and good environmental intentions, the construction work will go on without interference from the union, even though it is a thirty story building, for our case.
Bosch, G., & Peter, P., 2003, Building Chaos: an international comparison of deregulation in the construction industry. London: Routledge.
Burgmann, M. & Verity, B., 1998, Green Bans, Red Union: Environmental activism and the New South Wales. Sydney: UNSW Press.
Langford, D., Robert, N. & Sydney, U., 2002, Construction Management in Practice. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.