FWBC pursues CFMEU blockade of Perth Airport Expansion

Director of Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v CFMEU and ors

Allegations as outlined in Fair Work Building & Construction’s (FWBC) statement of claim, these may vary over the course of the proceeding.

  1. FWBC has launched proceedings in the Federal Court against the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union of Workers (CFMEUW), WA CFMEU President Campbell McCullough, CFMEU State Secretary Michael Buchan, Joseph McDonald and three other union officials.
  2. FWBC alleges the CFMEU, CFMEUW and other respondents allegedly intended to coerce Perth Airport Pty Ltd and its contractors at the Perth International Airport’s Arrivals Expansion Project.
  3. It is alleged the respondents organised and took the action because of allegations of unpaid entitlements.

22 October 2013

  1. FWBC alleges between 6.30am and 10am, Mr Buchan, Mr McDonald and CFMEU officials Walter (Vinnie) Molina and Peter Joshua established and maintained a blockade of the Site.
  2. It is alleged they occupied the entrances to the Site; organised approximately 100 people to occupy the entrances to the Site; prevented or dissuaded employees of subcontractors from entering the Site and otherwise persuaded the employees of subcontractors to engage in industrial action and not work at the Site.
  3. FWBC alleges Messrs Buchan, McCullough McDonald, Joshua and Molina and CFMEUW official Tawa Harris stood in front of the Site entrance gates blocking access to the Site, held CFMEU banners and placed CFMEU signs and flags on the fence surrounding the Site and on the back of utility vehicles parked adjacent to the entrance gate.
  4. FWBC alleges at some time between 9am and 9.15am an employee of the head contractor tried to escort a subcontractor through the rear entrance of the airport terminal. It is alleged Mr Molina and another person wearing a shirt bearing the CFMEU logo stopped them. It is alleged Mr Molina spoke to the subcontractor and said “You are not going on Site today” and “Can you please just wait until the camera crews have gone before you come back on Site?”
  5. FWBC alleges at approximately 9.30am, a female supervisor and her workers entered the site. It is alleged during this entry Mr McDonald said to the supervisor words to the effect: “You f**king bitch” and “piss hole”. It is alleged Mr McDonald said to the workers words to the effect: “You are all being pussy whipped and being bossed around by a woman”. It is alleged he told the workers that they would not work in Perth again.
  6. FWBC alleges at approximately 10am, Mr McDonald said words to the effect that the respondents would return to the Site the following morning with 100 people.


  1. FWBC alleges Messrs Buchan, McDonald, Joshua, Molina, McCullough and Harris contravened s348 of the Fair Work Act. An additional contravention is alleged by Mr McDonald for the threat to take action the next day.
  2. It is alleged the CFMEU and CFMEUW contravened s348 of the Fair Work Act.


  1. The maximum penalties available to the court in this case are $10,200 for an individual and $51,000 for a corporation, including a union.
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