Case name
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union & ors
Known as
Royal Adelaide Hospital
Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link

SAD248/2014

Applicant

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

Respondent(s) at time of filing

CFMEU, Aaron Cartledge, Michael McDermott

Date filed
8 October 2014
State/Territory
SA
Breach(es) found
Coercion
Status
Finalised
Link to liability judgement

Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (No 2) [2016] FCA 607

Link to penalty judgement

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (No 3) [2017] FCA 10

Summary of court decision

The trial was held for six days commencing on 27 July 2015. A decision regarding liability was handed down on 31 May 2016. The Court found contraventions of s343(1) of the Fair Work Act against all respondents.

Penalty hearing held on 26 July 2016. On 19 January 2017 the Federal Court handed down penalties totalling $57,500 on the respondents.

The ABCC* launched proceedings in the Federal Court against the CFMEU, its SA Secretary Aaron Cartledge and Assistant Secretary Michael McDermott for allegedly threatening to take industrial action at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital project.

The ABCC alleged as follows:

On 22 November 2013, Mr Cartledge and Mr McDermott attended a meeting at the Project organised by Safework SA.

During the meeting, Mr Cartledge and Mr McDermott threatened to organise industrial action at the Project, if the Head Contractor sought to enforce a Fair Work Commission order from September 2013 that required employees on the Project to not take industrial action.

During the meeting it was alleged that Mr McDermott threatened “if you try anything there will be Armageddon”. It is alleged Mr Cartledge threatened “all hell will break loose and we will take this national” if the head contractor took steps to enforce the order.

On 31 May 2016 the Court found all respondents had contravened s343(1) of the Fair Work Act by threatening to organise action against the head contractor with the intent to coerce the head contractor to not exercise a workplace right.

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

Penalities

Penalties awarded against

Penalties awarded

CFMEU

$50,000

Aaron Cartledge

$3,750

Michael McDermott

$3,750

Total

$57,500

Total penalities

$57,500

Related content

Media release -$57,500 Penalty for CFMEU’s Armageddon threat at Royal Adelaide Hospital