Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v CFMEU & Ors
Court file number: WAD251/2012
Applicant: Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate
Respondent(s): CFMEU and Joe McDonald
Date filed: 20 September 2012
Alleged breach: Coercion
- On 24 February 2014, penalties totaling $35,640 were imposed on the CFMEU ($29,700) and Joe McDonald ($5940).
- Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union  FCA 126
FWBC alleged that the CFMEU and its WA Assistant Secretary Joe McDonald contravened s348 of the Fair Work Act 2009 by attempting to coerce the head contractor to comply with the union’s demands.
NW Construction Management Pty Ltd (NWC) was the head contractor on a construction project at 901 William Street, Northbridge, WA. NWC engaged Legend Contractors (Legend) as a subcontractor on the project.
FWBC alleged that at 7am on 13 September 2012, Mr McDonald convened a meeting at the site of 17 employees of NWC and Legend. Mr McDonald was alleged to have told the workers that Legend was not paying its employees the correct rates and, if this was not rectified by 17 September 2012, the CFMEU would picket the front gates of the site and invite media to attend.
Following the meeting, Mr McDonald was alleged to have attended the site offices and demanded to speak with the NWC director about the terms of Legend’s contract with NWC. He told the site manager that if the director did not speak with him the CFMEU would picket the site on 17 September 2012.
Mr McDonald and 12 other CFMEU officials were alleged to have picketed the site between 7am and 9am on 17 September 2012. During this time, the CFMEU officials were alleged to have encouraged four or five workers from Legend to join the picket and prevented three workers from NWC from entering the site and going about their work.
During the picket, it was alleged that Mr McDonald told a NWC site manager that the union would organise a picket of 120-200 people for the next two weeks if NWC did not cooperate with the CFMEU’s demands to re-negotiate its contract with Legend and/or make additional payments to Legend to enable Legend to pay superannuation and leave loading to its employees.