Karen Stuart v Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) & Steve Dodd

Respondent(s): AMWU and Steven Dodd

Date filed: 29 June 2009

Court Findings:

On 28 August 2009 the Federal Court of Australia found that the AMWU and Mr Dodd had each contravened s44 of the BCII Act by placing undue pressure on a building contractor to make an industrial agreement.

In early 2008, Australian Paper Pty Ltd (Australian Paper) was expanding the Maryvale Pulp Mill site that it owned at Morwell, Victoria (the Site).

In early 2008 Sandvik Mining and Construction Australia Pty Ltd (Sandvik) was seeking to enter into a contract with Australian Paper Pty Ltd to carry out certain building work at the Maryvale Paper Mill site in Morwell, Victoria.

On 26 February 2008 Mr Dodd told an employee of Australian Paper that Sandvik would need to get their site agreement “right” before they could start on the Site.

On 28 February 2008 Mr Dodd told an employee of Sandvik that Sandvik needed to have an agreement that was in line with other industrial agreements that were in use at the Site.

Later that day, Mr Dodd threatened to organise unlawful industrial action by contractors on the Site if Sandvik came on to the Site. The purpose of this threat was to force Sandvik to agree to make a building agreement with the AMWU under Part 8 of the Workplace Relations Act 1996.

Court Outcome: On 28 August 2009 Justice North imposed a penalty of $25,000 on the AMWU and $5,000 on Mr Dodd for placing undue pressure on a building contractor to make an industrial agreement.