FWBC launches Pilbara proceedings against McDonald

Fair Work Building and Construction has launched more proceedings against Mr Joe McDonald, the CFMEU and CFMEUW for alleged unlawful industrial action.

The proceedings relate to an unauthorised stop work meeting allegedly initiated by Mr McDonald at the Sino Iron Ore Project at Cape Preston, Karratha on 21 February 2012.

Eighty-seven workers from three different companies are said to have attended the meeting at the start of their rostered shift.

FWBC alleges the majority of the workers then walked off the site after Mr McDonald told them they would lose four hours pay for attending an unauthorised meeting during work hours. FWBC further alleges Mr McDonald told workers they might as well “take the day off”.

FWBC Chief Executive Leigh Johns said the agency was committed to taking matters to court where illegal action had occurred

“We take extremely seriously investigating alleged unlawful incidents and then commence proceedings promptly where we believe there is a case to answer,” Mr Johns said.

Mr Johns noted that Mr McDonald had not brought to the regulator any concerns about workplace relations at the Sino Iron Ore Project site before taking matters into his own hands.

“Mr McDonald continues to engage in and encourage unlawful industrial activity, not only costing himself and the CFMEU over a million dollars in civil penalties but demonstrating a lack of contrition and respect for the rule of the law,” Mr Johns said.

FWBC launched its proceedings in the Federal Court yesterday. It is seeking pecuniary penalties against the CFMEU, the CFMEUW and Mr McDonald.