Case name
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union & Anor
Known as
Springvale Level Crossing Removal
Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link

VID195/2016

Applicant
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner
Respondent(s) at time of filing
CFMMEU, Joseph Myles
Date filed
4 March 2016
State/Territory
VIC
Breach(es) found
Industrial action, Non-compliance with right of entry laws
Status
Current
Link to penalty judgment

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining And Energy Union (No 2) [2018] FCA 1968

Summary of court decision

The ABCC* commenced proceedings against the CFMEU and Victorian CFMEU official Joseph Myles after he threatened to blockade and organised industrial action at the Springvale Level Crossing site in Melbourne.

In a penalty judgment handed down on 7 December 2018, the Federal Court ordered the CFMMEU and its official Joseph Myles pay a total of $294,000 in penalties. Mr Myles was ordered to personally pay a penalty of $44,000 for his unlawful conduct which included making a threat to prevent the head contractor from hiring a particular subcontractor.

In addition to organising unlawful industrial action and attempting to coerce the head contractor, Mr Myles contravened right of entry laws three times

The Court found that in a meeting on 19 June 2013, Mr Myles threatened to take action against the head contractor if they engaged the subcontractor and said he was “on a mission to get [the subcontractor]”.

Mr Myles said there would be “trouble” if the subcontractor was engaged on the project. He added that “there will be pickets outside the gates if they’re on this job” and “don’t blame me that you weren’t warned”.

On 13 February 2014, Mr Myles entered the site and organised a work ban by arranging employees to abandon their shifts.

Later that day Mr Myles breached right of entry laws when he refused to show his entry permit saying: “I haven’t got any ID, I’m not leaving the site, why don’t you call the police – I’d love that”. Protective Services Officers later attended the site.

Mr Myles subsequently entered the site on two further occasions on 19 March 2014 and 1 April 2014 despite not having a valid right of entry permit.

In his judgment Justice O’Callaghan noted the CFMMEU’s prior history and “its apparent willingness to contravene the FW Act in a serious way to impose its will.”

*This matter was originally filed by Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC). On 2 December 2016, FWBC became the ABCC.

Total penalities

Penalties awarded against

Penalties awarded

CFMEU

$250,000

Joseph Myles

$44,000

Total

$294,000

Related content

Media release - Highest personal payment order for union official on a "mission to get" subcontractor

Current ABCC case URL

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union & Anor