FWBC urges workers to return to Queensland building sites

Fair Work Building & Construction (FWBC) Director Nigel Hadgkiss is urging people to return to work at the Enhanced Land Force Stage 2, Phase 2B Gallipoli Barracks (Enoggera) and Queensland University of Technology Creative Industries Precinct projects in Brisbane.

The John Holland projects, worth a combined $837 million, have been affected by work stoppages since 28 October 2013.

Mr Hadgkiss said as many as 220 workers had withdrawn their labour since 28 October. The action is linked to a dispute in relation to enterprise agreements between John Holland Group and the CFMEU.

 “The Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued an order under the Fair Work Act on 29 October, 2013, which required workers who are members of, or eligible to be members of, the CFMEU and employed by the majority of subcontractors, to return to work,” Mr Hadgkiss said. “Despite the order, many workers have not returned to work and FWBC is investigating the possibility these people are in breach of the Fair Work Act.”

“I am urging people who have withdrawn their labour to return to work immediately. Workers do not get paid when they do not work. On top of this, workers could face penalties of up to $10,200 each for unlawful strike action.”

FWBC has written to more than 130 workers, inviting them to explain why they have not presented for work. If you are engaged to work on one of these sites and would like information about your rights and responsibilities, call FWBC’s Hotline on 1800 003 338. Your enquiry can be anonymous.

The maximum penalty for an individual breaching one of these Fair Work Act provisions is $10,200 and $51,000 for body corporates.

In September this year, the Federal Court ordered 117 workers who participated in unlawful industrial action on a West Australian building site to pay penalties of up to $10,000 each.

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