Case name
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union & Ors
Known as
GN Construction
Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link

WAD259/2021

Applicant
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner
Respondent(s)
  • CFMMEU
  • Bradley Upton
  • Stephen Parker
Date filed
State/Territory
WA
Alleged breach(es)
Unlawful picketing
Status
Current
Summary

On 22 November 2021 the ABCC commenced court action against the CFMMEU and two of its officials alleging they took part in an unlawful picket at GN Construction's Balcatta construction yard on 3 May 2021.

The ABCC is alleging CFMMEU officials Bradley Upton and Stephen Parker led the picket, which involved up to 60 protesters gathering at the construction yard at 6.30am.

In its statement of claim the ABCC is alleging:

  • An unlawful picket was organised when a CFMMEU email was sent to all WA members calling on them to attend the Balcatta company’s construction yard to protest.
  • The unlawful picket involved approximately 60 protesters, many of them wearing CFMMEU branded clothing and waving CFMMEU flags.
  • A truck that had earlier dropped off timber was prevented from leaving the yard after picketers marched up and down the footpath blocking the exit.
  • As the truck approached the exit gate, Mr Upton shouted to the picketers: “C’mon guys, get here. March up and down, they can’t stop us doing this.  Stop ‘em.
  • At around 7.45am Mr Upton addressed the picketers where he said:

“At this stage what we’re going to do is we’ll probably ah pass it in, we’ll head off.  But keep your emails up to date, we’ll be (sic) keep coming back.  We’re going to keep having a go at these f**king maggots.”

  • Following Mr Upton’s direction, the picketers left the site.
  • Later in the day the CFMMEU posted a video of the picket on the WA CFMMEU Facebook page.

The maximum penalty for unlawful picketing under the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 is $222,000 for a body corporate and $44,400 for an individual.

The ABCC is seeking personal payment orders against both union officials. Such an order would require Court imposed penalties to be paid personally by Mr Upton and Mr Parker, and not be paid or reimbursed directly or indirectly by the CFMMEU or through crowd funding.

Historical content

22 Nov 2021- ABCC commences action against CFMMEU and officials for alleged illegal picket of WA construction yard