The ABCC* has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against the CFMEU and two of its officials, Anthony Sloane and Luke Collier, for taking adverse action against a crane company after the company terminated the employment of a union delegate.
In a statement of claim filed in the Federal Court, the ABCC alleges:
- On 21 March 2014, the crane company provided a letter to the union delegate indicating that they were considering terminating his employment.
- On 24 March, Mr Sloane attended the Icon Urbanest Project in Ultimo and spoke with employees of the crane company. Mr Sloan told the workers to stay in the sheds, referring to that fact that the union delegate had been sacked and that the workers had not completed manual handling training.
- As a result, the workers did not start work as scheduled at 7.30am. Work did not commence until approximately 11am.
- Around the same time on that day, Mr Collier attended the RCC Apartment Construction site in Erskineville and told the site manager that the cranes could not operate on the site due to a safety issue. He reiterated the same on the phone to the crane company’s WHS officer.
- As a result, the workers did not commence work until around 1.30pm.
- Later that day, Mr Sloane attended the Ku-ring-gai Hospital Redevelopment in Hornsby. Mr Sloane raised safety issues with the Project Manager and crane company’s employees and advised it was not safe at work until those issues had been resolved. At that time, all workers were coming off the site because of the rain.
The ABCC alleges that the above action constitutes adverse action taken by the CFMEU officials against the crane company, in contravention of the Fair Work Act. It further alleges that the officials organised industrial action at the Urbanest and Erskineville sites, acted in an improper manner at all three sites, and misrepresented their authority to do certain things under the Fair Work Act.
*This matter was originally filed by Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC). On 2 December 2016, FWBC became the ABCC.