The ABCC commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Court against the CFMMEU and its official John Windus alleging he racially abused a safety supervisor at a Perth construction site in February this year.
The ABCC alleges the incident occurred at the Doubletree Hilton construction site on 15 February 2019 when Mr Windus and fellow CFMMEU official Stephen Parker exercised their rights to enter site as Federal permit holders to investigate a safety issue.
In its statement of claim filed in the Federal Court at Perth, the ABCC alleges Mr Windus exchanged with the safety supervisor, in the presence of Mr Parker, words to the following effect:
Windus: “This is on the walk way, do some housekeeping.”
Supervisor: “This is not a walk way but I will clean it up once my boys come back from lunch. This is a contractor’s materials.”
Windus: “You pick this up or I’ll stand here all day.”
Supervisor: “I’m not meant to do this, I’ll get my boys to pick it up when they get back from lunch and some are on traffic duty.”
Windus: “This is Australia, not your third world country. Do it now.”
Supervisor: “What did you say, you can’t say that, this is really serious and racist.”
The ABCC further alleges Mr Windus then stepped towards the safety supervisor’s face. At the same time the safety supervisor raised his left hand and stepped backwards. When the supervisor did this, Windus exchanged with him, in the presence of Parker, words to the following effect:
Windus: “Don’t touch me c**t, you’re a third world joker and this is f***ing Australia. Do it, what I say.”
Supervisor: “I’m not doing what you say. If you talk like that, get off my site. I’m not going to entertain you.”
Windus: "You f**k off c**t from this place.”
Mr Parker repeatedly shouted the word c**t at the supervisor.
The ABCC has issued proceedings against Mr Windus, Mr Parker and the CFMMEU for contravening the right of entry provisions in the Fair Work Act by acting in an improper manner. The ABCC is also alleging the officials contravened the Fair Work Act by failing to comply with the reasonable requests of the site’s safety supervisor.
The maximum penalty per contravention is $63,000 for a body corporate and $12,600 for an individual.