29 June 2015FWBC alleges the CFMEU, the ACT secretary and 7 officials, broke the law 18 times

CFMEU ACT secretary Dean Hall and seven CFMEU officials are facing Federal court action for allegedly organising a blockade at a site in Canberra for three consecutive days, after the head contractor raised concerns over a proposed enterprise agreement.

FWBC is alleging that in June of last year CFMEU officials physically blocked access to the dance school construction project in the ACT, placing vehicles in front of the gates and standing shoulder to shoulder. Sub-contractors who attempted to access the site and report to work were told to go home and that “the site is closed.”

When the police were called in response to the blockade, Mr Hall allegedly called the general manager and said “Did you call the police?” “Don’t involve the f**king police.” “Do you want a war?” “I will f**k you over.” “I know a lot of people in this town and you won’t work in this town for long”.

In a meeting held with the senior project manager on day one of the blockade, Mr Hall allegedly offered a “solution” and made a number of demands, including signing the proposed agreement and employing a CFMEU approved labourer.

When the project engineer attempted to clear access to the site with a crane, CFMEU organiser Kenneth Miller allegedly said “That’s bullsh*t, no one is allowed on site today,” and “It’s because the [head contractor] doesn’t have an EBA with the CFMEU. They shouldn’t be in there.”

On the third day of the alleged blockade, with CFMEU officials standing shoulder to shoulder in front of the entrance gates to the site, Mr Miller allegedly told the project engineer in the presence of two FWBC investigators, “You guys can sort this out pretty easily.” “Sign the EBA!”

When the project manager opened the gates to the project, one CFMEU organiser allegedly told him “You and me are going to have a problem here. The gates stay shut,” and pulled the gate shut.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said “This case involves more than union officials using foul language. Reports of union officials attempting to bully head contractors into signing enterprise agreements are becoming increasingly common.”

The maximum penalties available to the Court in this case are $10,200 for an individual, and $51,000 for a union per breach. FWBC is alleging the CFMEU broke the law 18 times, and the CFMEU officials a total of 18 times.

A directions hearing is scheduled for 17 July in the Federal Court. More information can be found in the media backgrounder.

PDF icon FWBC alleges the CFMEU, the ACT secretary and 7 officials broke the law 18 times.pdf