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

VID/164/2016

Applicant

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

Respondent(s) at time of filing

CFMEU, Joe Myles, Adam Hall, Drew MacDonald, Theo Theodorou

Date filed
19 February 2016
State/Territory
VIC
Breach(es) found
Adverse action, Coercion
Status
Finalised
Link to liability judgement

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (the Webb Dock case) [2017] FCA 62

Summary of court decision

The CFMEU and two of its organisers were ordered to pay $96,000 in penalties after blockading work at the $1.6 billion Port of Melbourne expansion project and threatening to have 20,000 workers join the dispute.

The Federal Court imposed an $84,000 penalty against the CFMEU while organisers Joe Myles and Adam Hall were given penalties of $7,500 and $4,500 respectively. The court found the CFMEU and the officials engaged in unlawful coercion.

Starting before dawn, groups of up to 50 people blocked entrances at Webb Dock in March 2015.

The CFMEU had taken action in support of the union’s enterprise bargaining demands to the lead contractor McConnell Dowell and steel-fixing firm Coastal Steel Fixing.

During the blockade, Mr Myles addressed a group of workers and encouraged them to stop work on the project, saying:

“Don’t be frightened to go home, because if McConnell Dowell and Coastal want to fight, I can have 20,000 workers here tomorrow at the drop of a hat to support you”.

Justice Jessup said the union’s past record of contraventions indicated that “the CFMEU has done nothing, over the years, to cause its own staff to comply with the law”.

Penalities

Penalties awarded against

Penalties awarded

CFMEU

$84,000

Joe Myles

$7,500

Adam Hall

$4,500

Total

$96,000

Total penalities

$96,000

Related content
Media release CFMEU ordered to pay $96,000 over Melbourne Port blockade