Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v CFMEU
Court file number: VID340/2014
Applicant: Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate
Respondent(s): CFMEU, Danny Berardi & Shaun Reardon.
Date filed: 18 June 2014
Alleged breach: Coercion
- On 21 April 2015 the Federal Court ordered the respondents to pay penalties totaling $43,000.
- Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union  FCA 353
FWBC commenced proceedings against the CFMEU, former official Danny Berardi and its Assistant Secretary Shaun Reardon.
FWBC alleges that in May 2013, Berardi said to the Director and Construction Manager of a building company words to the effect: “You’re doing a job in my area. We need to meet and you need to come in and discuss and sign an EBA”.
FWBC alleges on about 14 June 2013, Theo Theodorou, an officer of the CFMEU spoke to the Director and Construction Manager on the phone and said words to the effect: “The time has come for you to sign an EBA”.
FWBC alleges that on 27 June 2013, Berardi and Alex Tadic, in their capacity as officers of the CFMEU, attended the site, asked the site manager whether the building company had entered an enterprise agreement with the CFMEU and stated that they knew the building company planned to lift concrete panels on the site the following day.
On 28 June 2013 it is alleged that Berardi attended the site and directed the truck delivering the concrete panels to “Turn the truck around, pack up and go home”, causing the site to close for the day and materials to be returned to Shepparton.
Berardi is alleged to have later told the Director and Construction Manager of the building company that: “You won’t be lifting panels” and “You’re playing games with me in my area; you won’t be lifting the panels today.”
In response to being told by the Director and Construction Manager of the building company that it would not be entering into an enterprise agreement with the CFMEU, Berardi is alleged to have said: “Well, you’ll be f***ed. I’ll blockade all your sites.”
In a telephone call later that day, Reardon is alleged to have said words to the effect of: “You need to sign an EBA… The only way to teach you guys a lesson about joining an EBA is when we f**k you around and delay your sites like with crane lifts.”
On 31 July 2013, it is further alleged that activity ceased for 3 hours after Berardi arrived and instructed the crane company to stop work, saying to the site manager words to the effect: "You still don't have an EBA.".
FWBC alleges, as a result of the conduct alleged above,
- Berardi engaged in adverse action and coercion in contravention of sections 340, 343 and 348 of the Fair Work
- Reardon was an accessory to Berardi’s alleged coercive actions;
- the CFMEU is liable for alleged unlawful conduct engaged by Berardi and Reardon.
Penalties: On 21 April 2015 the Federal Court ordered the respondents to pay penalties totaling $43,000. (Media release attached)
Media release: Media Backgrounder - CFMEU to face court over coercion claims (PDF - 230K) Media Release - CFMEU to face court over coercion claims (PDF - 169K) Media release - Court fines CFMEU, Shaun Reardon and Danny Berardi $43,000 for coercion (PDF 222 KB)