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

VID167/2016

Applicant
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner
Respondent(s) at time of filing
CFMEU, Stephen Long, Gerard Benstead
Date filed
State/Territory
VIC
Breach(es) found
Adverse action, Coercion
Status
Finalised
Date finalised
Link to liability judgment

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (The Bay Street Case) [2018] FCA 83

Link to penalty judgment

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union

Summary of court decision

The Federal Court on 12 November 2019 penalised the CFMMEU $38,000 and two of its officials a total of $12,500 after they organised a work stoppage at a $30 million Brighton apartment project over demands for a larger site shed and dedicated female toilet.

On 21 April 2015, CFMMEU officials Stephen Long and Gerard Benstead visited the Bay Street site and demanded that head contractor BPM provide a larger shed for the 16 workers on site, despite the fact the existing shed catered for 18 workers.

On 22 April Mr Long and Mr Benstead again entered the site. After talking to the workers Mr Long advised the senior site supervisor he was “sending the boys home because the amenities aren’t up to standard.”

Following the meeting with the CFMMEU officials a number of workers walked off the job.

Justice Bromberg found the CFMMEU, Mr Long and Mr Benstead engaged in coercion and adverse action by organising the stop work. He also ordered the two officials to personally pay their penalties.

In his judgment Justice Bromberg said: 

“I accept that the contravening conduct on 22 April 2015 should be regarded as objectively serious. The conduct was deliberate and, I would infer given Long and Bensteads’ long-standing experience as union officials, engaged in in the knowledge that it was unlawful.”

Penalties
Penalties awarded

Penalties awarded against

CFMMEU $38,000
Gerard Benstead $6,500
Stephen Long $6,000
Total penalties $50,500
Historical content

12 Nov 2019 - Stop work over demand for bigger shed costs CFMMEU and officials $50,500