CFMEU allegedly demanded a CFMEU flag be put on crane or they’d “stop the job”

FWBC has launched Federal Court proceedings against the CFMEU and 11 of its organisers for their conduct on four Lend Lease sites in Adelaide.

FWBC alleges that CFMEU organisers Mark Gava and Moe Kalem threatened a site manager that they would “stop the job” if he did not attach a CFMEU flag to a crane on the Flinders University construction site.

After the site manager refused, Mr Kalem allegedly said: “If you don’t put it up there we will bring back 10 brothers tomorrow and stop the job.” Four CFMEU officials then allegedly walked towards the crane driver and Mr Gava falsely told the crane driver that the site manager had given permission to fly the flag from the hook and directed him to do so.

After the flag was flown on the crane, Mr Gava, Mr Kalem and Mr Lomax posed for photographs in front of it.

Mr Gava and four other CFMEU officials allegedly entered the TAFE project site at Tonsley Park without providing notice as required by law. During a discussion with the site’s project manager, Mr Gava allegedly said words to the effect “We’re not going to be filling out right of entry notices…that’s come from the secretary” (referring to the Secretary of the CFMEU).

CFMEU officials also allegedly broke right of entry laws at the Adelaide Oval site on four occasions. On one of these days, cricket was being played. On that day the CFMEU SA’s Assistant Secretary Michael McDermott allegedly removed safety bunting and walked into an area which was marked as an exclusion zone where work was being performed overhead. He then called a cricket ball retriever, employed by the stadium, into the exclusion zone.

Three CFMEU officials also allegedly unlawfully entered the Convention Centre development project.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said his agency had to fly reinforcements in to Adelaide to deal with the alleged law breaking. “We are working hard to respond quickly to problems in the construction industry,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

The maximum penalties available to the court in this case are $10,200 for an individual and $51,000 for a corporation, including a union.

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