09 July 2014CFMEU officer Bradley Upton facing court in FWBC case
Director of Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Bradley Upton and others
Allegations as outlined in Fair Work Building & Construction’s (FWBC) statement of claim, these may vary over the course of the proceeding.
- FWBC has launched proceedings against the CFMEU, the CFMEUW and their officer Bradley Upton.
- Bechtel was the engineering, procurement and construction manager of the multi-billion dollar Wheatstone project which involves the construction of an onshore liquefied natural gas facility near Onslow in Western Australia.
- Monadelphous Engineering Associates Pty Ltd were engaged as sub-contractors on the project.
8 October 2012
- Upton attended the Project shortly before 10am for discussions with employees. At the time, right of entry discussions by permit holders were held in a temporary building in the Construction Village area of the Project.
- FWBC alleges Upton spoke to Bechtel’s Employee Relations Representative at the Project after being escorted to the meeting room and said words to the effect: “The venue is no good” and “I’m going to the Bechtel offices to talk to safety because the venue isn’t safe”.
- FWBC alleges Upton was told he could pursue legal options through Fair Work Australia if there were issues with the venue.
- It is alleged Upton said words to the effect: “That’s the AWU way, we don’t do things that way. We do things the f**king CFMEU way.”
- FWBC alleges shortly after or about 10.20am Upton spoke to Bechtel’s Deputy Employee Relations Manager at the Project and asked him if he thought the venue was fit for purpose.
- It is alleged Upton said words to the effect: “Is this sh*thole place acceptable to you? Is this sh*thole good for you f**king Americans? This is not f**king America. You think you can treat us like sh*t, you f**king Americans. Australians won’t stand for this. You f**king Americans can’t push us around like we’re pieces of sh*t. We won’t put up with you f**king Americans here, not here”.
- FWBC alleges Upton then stepped closely towards the other man’s face and said words to the effect of: “You want to hit me? Go ahead and hit me, you f**king American. Come on and hit me you f**king American. Hit me, go ahead.”
- It is alleged Upton was directed to leave the Project at about 10.45am and told his permit ended at 10.30am. It is alleged Upton did not comply with the direction.
13 February 2013
- Upton attended the project shortly before 1.50pm to hold discussions with employees and was escorted to a portable building in the ‘Decmil Compound’ area of the Project which was used at the time for right of entry discussions.
- FWBC alleges Upton told Monadelphous’ Construction Manager that the meeting room was not fit for purpose and he was going to find somewhere else to have the meeting.
- It is alleged the Construction Manager told Upton that the meeting had to be conducted in the right of entry building and if Upton went elsewhere it would be considered trespassing.
- It is alleged Upton said words to the effect: “I don’t give a f**k. I’m going to find a room more suitable. This room is not fit for purpose.”
- FWBC alleges Upton was repeatedly told it would be trespassing if he went elsewhere and despite the instruction he walked away and held the discussions in the wet mess area of the Project.
Contraventions and maximum penalties
- FWBC alleges Upton intentionally hindered and/or obstructed Bechtel employees on 8 October 2012 and an employee of Monadelphous on 13 February 2013, and/or Upton acted in an improper manner. It is therefore alleged Upton, and subsequently the CFMEU and CFMEUW contravened s.500 of the Fair Work Act.
- The maximum penalty for each contravention in this matter is $10,200 for an individual and $51,000 for a corporation, which includes unions.