10 January 2013FWBC files case against CFMEU in WA

Fair Work Building & Construction has commenced proceedings against the CFMEU and its Secretary Mr Mick Buchan, after Mr Buchan allegedly threatened a company because it had merely arranged for FWBC to deliver a presentation on workplace rights at its site.

In about the middle of June, 2012, Polyseal Waterproofing (WA) Pty Ltd (Polyseal), was performing building works on the Fiona Stanley Hospital project when it organised for FWBC to meet with workers to deliver a training presentation to them about their workplace rights and obligations.

On 19 June 2012, it is alleged Mr Buchan demanded that Polyseal cancel the FWBC presentation which was scheduled for later the same day.

It is further alleged that Mr Buchan threatened Polyseal that “if the meeting went ahead, it would have serious repercussions on Polyseal and serious repercussions on the Fiona Stanley project”.

Because of the threats, Polyseal cancelled the FWBC presentation.

FWBC is seeking penalties against both the CFMEU and Mr Buchan for breaching sections 340 and 343 of the Fair Work Act 2009 on the basis that Mr Buchan, and in turn the CFMEU, sought to coerce Polyseal to not exercise its workplace right of seeking FWBC assistance.

FWBC Chief Executive Leigh Johns said these proceedings showed how seriously FWBC takes the issue of coercion.

“No worker, group of workers or employer should be hindered from exercising a workplace right,” Mr Johns said.

FWBC filed the matter in the Federal Court of Australia in West Australia on 19 December 2012.

For more information about this case, see the FWBC backgrounder.

PDF icon Media Release - FWBC files case against CFMEU in WA.pdf