23 October 2014FWBC takes action against employer, union and workers

FWBC has launched proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court over allegations workers on a South Brisbane construction site downed tools in response to a visit by government officials.

FWBC has filed proceedings against 51 employees of various contractors for unlawful industrial action and two CFMEU organisers and the CFMEU for organising the industrial action.

Two investigators from the Queensland Building Construction Compliance Branch visited the apartment block construction site on 9 December 2013 between 9.40am and 11.30am to undertake an audit of building company Hutchinson Builders.

FWBC alleges CFMEU organiser Michael Myles entered the Site between 10.30am and 11am, approached the workers and requested they stop work and go to the lunchroom.

It is alleged at approximately 11am, the 51 employees, including 14 Hutchinson Builders employees, stopped work and went to the lunchroom where they remained for approximately 45 minutes.

FWBC alleges Mr Myles told representatives of Hutchinson Builders words to the effect: “you’ve got to understand when they [BCCB investigators] come here we’re going to pull everybody off the job”.

It is alleged Hutchinson Builders representatives were also told “if they step foot on any of your projects, we will be there within five minutes flat and we will be stopping the job and that’s a nationwide directive from the top”.

FWBC alleges Hutchinson Builders paid their 14 employees on the basis that they had worked as scheduled without deducting four hours pay.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said FWBC would take legal action against any company, union or employee that breached the Fair Work Act.

“Calling a strike because of government officials attending a site cannot be condoned,” he said. “This is one example that FWBC is prepared to take on employers as well as unions and individuals. If the law is broken at all levels, FWBC will take action at all levels.”

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