CFMEU in court after allegedly warning of another "Ark Tribe"

FWBC has alleged in the Federal Circuit Court that the CFMEU is encouraging work stoppages at a Brisbane construction site because head contractor Hindmarsh Construction Australia Pty Ltd refused to have the CFMEU’s Zoran Bogdamovic on site as a full-time delegate.

Work stoppages have occurred for more than nine days at the site since 28 March 2014. CFMEU official Jade Ingham allegedly told a Hindmarsh senior manager the CFMEU would get the men back to work if Hindmarsh let Bogdamovic through the gate of the Brooklyn on Brookes apartment building project in Fortitude Valley. Mr Ingham allegedly told the senior manager he had “committed the ultimate sin in sacking a delegate”. The senior manager replied that Mr Bogdamovic had not been sacked. Mr Ingham said words to the effect of “are you sure you want this to go where it’s going because this will go to the pointy end.”

Hindmarsh wrote to sub-contractors working on the project notifying them the work stoppages may be unlawful. CFMEU official Chad Bragdon told a Hindmarsh senior manager if that was “the line” Hindmarsh was taking, it would create another “Ark Tribe”. This relates to illegal strike action in 2008 on a project undertaken by Hindmarsh in South Australia. In the “Ark Tribe” case, the CFMEU admitted to unlawful industrial action on the Flinders University building site in Adelaide. The court penalised the CFMEU and its organiser a total of $45,000.

On 7 April, three days after a Fair Work Commission return to work order was issued, it is alleged the CFMEU’s Bragdon, Ingham and fellow delegate John “Jack” Cummins entered the site and organised unlawful industrial action. Bragdon refused to show a Right of Entry permit.

Workers gathered outside the site and were allegedly waving red CFMEU flags and chanting “CFMEU”, “Zoran’s here to stay” and “Hindmarsh, stick it up your arse”. They were banging and kicking temporary fence panels.

FWBC sought an urgent hearing in the Federal Circuit Court to prevent further disruptive conduct by the CFMEU, Bragdon, Ingham and Cummins at the site. The injunction was granted and remains in place until 30 April 2014.

Mr Hadgkiss warned workers and officials his agency would not hesitate to bring people before the court if it was believed they had breached workplace laws.

“Bullying and unlawful behaviour will not be tolerated. These are very serious allegations and people should think twice before breaking workplace laws on my watch,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

PDF icon Media Release - CFMEU in Court after allegedly warning of another Ark Tribe.pdf