Case name
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Jody Moses & Ors
Known as
Gladstone Boardwalk
Commonwealth Courts Portal reference and link

BRG450/2016

Applicant

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

Respondent(s) at time of filing

CFMEU, Jody Moses, Gregg Churchman

Date filed
20 May 2016
State/Territory
QLD
Breach(es) found
Coercion, Freedom of association, Misrepresentation of workplace rights
Status
Finalised
Link to liability judgement

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Moses & Ors (No.2) [2017] FCCA 2738 (9 November 2017)

Link to penalty judgement

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Moses & Ors [2017] FCCA 738 (18 April 2017)

Summary of court decision

On 10 November 2017, the Federal Circuit Court penalised the CFMEU and its two officers Jody Moses and Gregg Churchman $54,000 after attempting to force workers to join the union at the Gladstone Boardwalk project in Central Queensland.

The Court heard Mr Moses and Mr Churchman met with workers on 11 September 2013 and told them that no work would occur that day and they would be removed from the project unless they joined the CFMEU.

During the meeting, workers were also told the project was a “union site” and CFMEU membership was compulsory for them to work on it. Workers were initially given five minutes to decide whether to join the CFMEU or they would be “removed” from the project.

In the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane, Judge Jarrett found that CFMEU organiser Jody Moses warned workers in September 2013 with words to the effect that:

“This is the way it will be. You have to join the union otherwise you won’t be able to work onsite and we will make sure you don’t work onsite.”

The Court had previously been told that workers had objected to the threats during “angry” and “heated” discussions at meetings, saying words to the effect:

“This is bullying. You can’t force us to join a union (and) “This is not the way to get people into the union, this is bullying.”

In handing down the penalty decision, Judge Jarrett described the contravention in this case as “serious”:

“It involved a flagrant disregard of workplace rights and the freedoms of associations guaranteed under the Fair Work Act.”

Mr Churchman was penalised for “remaining silent and offering implicit support” to Mr Moses. Judge Jarrett said both Mr Moses and Mr Churchman had shown a “deliberate disregard of the law”.
Penalities

Penalties awarded against

Penalties awarded

CFMEU

$45,000

Jody Moses

$5,500

Gregg Churchman

$4,000

Total

$54,500

Total penalities

$54,500

Related content
Media release: CFMEU penalised $54,500 after demanding Qld workers join the union