15 January 2015CFMEU in Federal Court for alleged law-breaking on 5 Adelaide construction sites

FWBC has launched five Federal Court cases against the CFMEU and seven of its officials, including CFMEU SA’s Assistant Secretary, Michael McDermott. The alleged unlawful activity includes a physical altercation between a Victorian union official and a construction site project manager.

On 5 May 2014, at the Quest South Apartments project site on King William Street, Victorian CFMEU official Derek Christopher allegedly used his elbow and shoulder to push the site’s project manager away from a doorway that provided access to the site’s main building.

FWBC is also alleging that on the same site on the same day, CFMEU official James O’Connor coerced the Quest South Apartments project manager to let him and CFMEU organisers Michael McDermott, Derek Christopher and Luke Stephenson speak to workers on the site.

FWBC is alleging CFMEU officials broke the law on four other Adelaide construction sites, including the Adelaide High School redevelopment project on West Terrace and the Minda Homes Master Plan Stage 1 project in Somerton Park, which will provide accommodation for people living with intellectual disability.

Union officials who are right of entry permit holders can enter construction sites to hold discussions with their members provided they follow right of entry laws, including giving 24 hours’ notice and showing their Federal right of entry permits. In these matters, FWBC alleges that the union failed to comply with these requirements.

At the Art Apartments site on 5 May 2014, when asked to leave the site because he and fellow officials had not provided the proper permits, the CFMEU’s Michael McDermott told the head contractor’s director: “You know we are going to do whatever we want to do”.

At the Minda Homes site on 28 April 2014, FWBC alleges that when CFMEU official David Bolton was asked if he and fellow official Michael Huddy had provided an entry notice, Mr Bolton replied: “We don’t need a notice”.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said all visitors to construction sites need to obey the law. “Everyone on a construction site needs to follow the law whether they are a union official, worker or employer,” he 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.

 

Site

Date of alleged incident

Officials allegedly involved

Adelaide High School

31 March 2014

James O’Connor (SA)

Minda Master Plan Stage 1

28 April 2014

David Bolton (SA)

Mick Huddy (NT)

Art Apartments

5 May 2014

Michael McDermott (SA)

Luke Stephenson (SA)

Muhammed Kalem (VIC)

Derek Christopher (VIC)

Quest South

5 May 2014

Michael McDermott (SA)

Luke Stephenson (SA)

Derek Christopher (VIC)

James O’Connor (SA)

Ibis Hotel

6 May 2014

Michael McDermott (SA)

Derek Christopher (VIC)

 

PDF icon Media Release - CFMEU in Federal Court for alleged law-breaking on 5 Adelaide construction sites.pdf