20 June 2012FWBC launches proceedings against CFMEU, BLFQ and union officials for unlawful industrial action

Director, Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Jamie McQueen, Chad Bragdon, David Hanna, Shane Treadaway, Andrew Clark, Edward Bland, CFMEU and BLFQ (as a transitionally registered state organisation)

Background

Allegations as outlined in Fair Work Building and Construction’s statement of claim filed in the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, Brisbane, on 31 May 2012. The allegations may change during the course of the proceeding.

1. On 19 November 2010, Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty Limited (LORA) was engaged as principal contractor for construction work at:

  • The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre located at Merivale Street, South Brisbane;
  • 123 Albert Street, Brisbane; and
  • The Multi Level Car Park site at Brisbane Airport.

2. LORA employees were engaged to perform building work at the sites on 19 and 20 November 2010.

Multi Level Car Park (MLCP) site

3. At approximately 9.20 am on 19 November, CFMEU organiser Mr Andrew Clark and BLFQ organiser Mr Edward Bland entered the MLCP site without any lawful authority. They proceeded to arrange and conduct a meeting of LORA employees without the authorisation or agreement of LORA.

4. Shortly after 11.00 am, the majority of LORA employees (approximately 86) at the site stopped work for the remainder of the day.

5. On 20 November, approximately 75 of the employees who had stopped work did not return to work.

6. All employees returned to work on Monday 22 November.

123 Albert Street site

7. At approximately 12.15 pm on 19 November, CFMEU organiser Shane Treadaway entered the Albert Street site without any lawful authority and conducted a meeting of LORA employees, without the permission of LORA.

8. At approximately 1.30 pm, approximately 20 LORA employees stopped work for the remainder of the day.

9. On 20 November, 15 of the employees who had stopped work did not return to work.

10. All employees returned to work on Monday 22 November.

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) site

11. At approximately 12.30 pm on 19 November, CFMEU organiser Jamie McQueen, BLFQ organiser Chad Bragdon and BLFQ secretary David Hanna entered the BCEC site without any lawful authority and conducted a meeting of LORA employees, without the permission of LORA.

12. At approximately 12.45 pm, approximately 42 LORA employees stopped work for the remainder of the day.

13. All employees returned to work on Monday 22 November.

Alleged Contraventions

14. FWBC alleges that, by engaging in unlawful industrial action on 19 and 20 November, Mr McQueen, Mr Bragdon, Mr Hanna, Mr Treadaway, Mr Clark, Mr Bland, the CFMEU and BLF contravened section 38 of the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (BCII Act).

15. FWBC alleges that, by engaging in unlawful industrial action on 19 and 20 November, Mr McQueen, Mr Bragdon, Mr Hanna, Mr Treadaway, Mr Clark, Mr Bland, the CFMEU and BLF contravened section 417 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act).

FWBC Prosecution

16. FWBC filed a statement of claim in the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia at Brisbane on 31 May 2012.

17. A directions hearing occurred on 20 June 2012.

18. A further directions hearing is scheduled for 7 November 2012.

Penalties

19. The maximum penalties for a contravention of the BCII Act are $22,000 for an individual and $110,000 for an organisation.

20. The maximum penalties for a contravention of the FW Act are $6600 for an individual and $33,000 for an organisation.