29 May 2014CFMEU's National Secretary Dave Noonan facing court after children's hospital blockade

FWBC has launched proceedings against CFMEU National Secretary David Noonan in the Federal Court. The CFMEU, CFMEUW and the unions’ Assistant State Secretary Joseph McDonald, State Secretary Mick Buchan and organiser Tawa Harris are also listed as respondents.

FWBC is alleging Noonan, McDonald, Buchan and Harris organised and controlled a blockade at the $1.2 billion New Children’s Hospital project site in Perth on 18 July, 2013. The New Children’s Hospital will provide 298 beds dedicated to caring for sick children and state of the art emergency care.

It is alleged the individuals organised the blockade to stop a critical concrete pour in a bid to coerce John Holland to agree to their enterprise agreement demands. FWBC is alleging the unions and Noonan, McDonald, Buchan and Harris knew the concrete pour scheduled for 18 July was critical to the project and that any disruptions to the concrete pour would affect project completion and contractual milestones, and that this would expose head contractor John Holland to significant financial detriment.

It is alleged the CFMEU posted a notice on Facebook and distributed a flyer on 17 July stating a meeting would be held at the hospital the next day and that Noonan and Buchan would address attendees.

By 8.30am on 18 July, approximately 600 people were gathered at the main site entrance. Access to the site was completely blocked and the concrete pour subsequently did not happen.

The crowd moved to a nearby park where Noonan, McDonald and Buchan allegedly stood on the back of a ute and used a microphone and speaker to address the crowd.

Buchan allegedly said “We send a clear message to everyone around here that’s here today that we can pull the numbers whenever we f***ing need them and we’ll do whatever we need to do.”

Noonan allegedly said: “This is not over, we are not finished with John Holland.”

And McDonald allegedly said: “We don’t go back to work today”, “We will come back, and we will come back and we will come back” and “We are the union and we called the shots today”.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said his agency is committed to upholding workplace laws on Australian building and construction sites.

The maximum penalties in this case are $10,200 for an individual and $51,000 for a union per breach.

More information here.

PDF icon Media Release - CFMEU's National Secretary Dave Noonan facing court after children's hospital blockade.pdf