CFMEU facing court for alleged action at Brisbane project for long-term homeless

Media Backgrounder

Director, Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Paul Cradden and others

Allegations as outlined in Fair Work Building & Construction’s (FWBC) statement of claim, these may vary over the course of the proceeding.

  1. FWBC has launched proceedings against the CFMEU and its officials – Paul Cradden, Joseph Myles, Mark O’Brien, Mike Davis and Jack Cummins – in the Federal Court of Australia in Brisbane.
  2. FWBC alleges the CFMEU and its officials took action intended to coerce head contractor Grocon to agree to an enterprise agreement.
  3. During this period, direct employees of Grocon were taking protected industrial action.


13 March 2012

  1. FWBC alleges that on 13 March 2012, officials were at the main gate to the Common Ground Project site and that numerous vehicles were parked nose to tail along the front of the site.
  2. FWBC alleges the vehicles had banners tied to them that stated “CFMEU Workers Protest” and that the vehicles caused difficulty to workers entering the site.
  3. FWBC alleges that Joseph Myles spoke to Grocon employees and said words to the effect: “You’ve all got a long time left in the industry, and we can influence your future jobs”.
  4. Vehicles illegally parked were ticketed with infringement notices. When this occurred, FWBC alleges Paul Cradden said words to the effect: “You think a $75.00 fine will stop us?”


14 March 2012

  1. FWBC alleges superglue had been placed in padlocks to the site gates for two entrances to the project site and the padlocks could not be unlocked.
  2. FWBC alleges a number of vehicles blocked the entrance to the site and that a van with a large CFMEU logo on the side was parked directly in front of the gate and that approximately six men wearing clothing with CFMEU insignia and logos were gathered under the awning of the van around a barbecue. It is alleged one of the men was Kane Pearson, assistant secretary of Queensland Builders Labourers Divisional Branch of the CFMEU.
  3. FWBC alleges some of the respondents said to a Grocon manager: “f***ing parasite”, “scab”, “gay boy” and “you will never work in this industry again”.
  4. FWBC alleges that Paul Cradden bumped a Grocon manager and whispered “you’re f***ed” in his ear.

15 March 2012

  1. It is alleged vehicles were blocking access to the site.
  2. The managing director of a Common Ground Project sub-contractor arrived at the site and said “My guys want to work. They want to do stuff and they aren’t getting paid.” “What are the consequences to my business if I bring my boys on site?”
  3. FWBC alleges that Paul Cradden replied: “You want to know what the consequences are? You would be committing industrial suicide.”

Dates and maximum penalties

  1. It is alleged construction work did not occur or was disrupted on 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19 and 21 March 2014.
  2. The maximum penalty for each contravention in this matter is $22,000 for an individual and $110,000 for a corporation. A directions hearing is scheduled for 2 May 2014.


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