20 December 2013CFMEU and Joseph McDonald penalised in FWBC case

The CFMEU, its official Joseph McDonald and the CFMEUW, have been penalised a total $193,600 for their role in unlawful industrial action at Citic Pacific’s Sino Iron Ore Pilbara site.

In a penalty decision handed down today in the Federal Court of Australia in Perth, Barker J said: “Mr McDonald’s conduct involves a calculated and careless attitude to the law governing the employment of persons by employers. It was calculated to cause disruption to employers carrying out building and construction work on the site and it was careless in that McDonald was aware of the legal consequences of his actions and pursued them nonetheless”.

Mr McDonald, the CFMEU’s Assistant Secretary attended and entered the site on 21 February 2012. He addressed an unauthorised meeting of 87 site employees. Seventy-seven workers subsequently withdrew their labour.

An industrial relations consultant asked Mr McDonald to leave the site because he did not have a right of entry permission or permission to be there. Mr McDonald responded “I haven’t had one for seven years and that hasn’t f***ing stopped me.”

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said Mr McDonald was a repeat offender. “Since 2005, Mr McDonald and the CFMEU have been collectively penalised more than $1 million for action Mr McDonald has been involved in,” Mr Hadgkiss said. “This does not include legal costs Mr McDoanld and the CFMEU have been ordered to pay.”

“FWBC will not tolerate unlawful industrial action on Australian building sites. People who do not respect the rule of law must expect there will be consequences,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

Fair Work Building & Construction is the national building regulator.

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