FWBC alleges CFMEU coerced Northern Territory builder


Fair Work Building & Construction has launched more proceedings against the CFMEU in the Federal Court of Australia.

FWBC alleges the CFMEU and its official and Adam Olsen attempted to coerce a Darwin-based building firm to pay union fees on behalf of its employees. FWBC alleges Olsen threatened to continue disruptive action if the building firm – Reday Pty Ltd – did not comply.

In its statement of claim, FWBC alleges that Mr Olsen threatened Reday’s Project Manager with words to the effect: “If you had six or eight or ten members on site that were part of the union, if you had that number of memberships, then the next time we come up, and we will be coming up more often, we will overlook, we will not just come here once we know it’s a union site, that’s when we will focus on other jobs around town.”  FWBC alleges this amounts to coercion and is in breach of s348 of the Fair Work Act 2009.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said FWBC is committed to investigating alleged coercion on Australian building sites.

“These are very serious and concerning allegations that we have brought before the court,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

FWBC is also alleging the CFMEU and its officials Kane Pearson and Olsen contravened s 500 of the Fair Work Act 2009. FWBC alleges Pearson and Olsen acted improperly by disrupting the site and requesting Reday pay membership fees to the CFMEU on behalf of its employees in order to have a good relationship with the union.

A directions hearing is scheduled for 7 March 2014.

The maximum penalty for each contravention of the FW Act in this matter is $10,200 for an individual and $51,000 for a body corporate. FWBC is alleging a total of four contraventions.

More details are available in the backgrounder here.

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