Australian Building and Construction Commissioner
CFMMEU, Peter D'Arcy
This matter was resolved at mediation and is currently awaiting a penalty hearing.
The ABCC commenced proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court against the CFMEU and its site delegate Peter D'Arcy for allegedly forcing a worker to join the union and pay union fees at the Grand Central Shopping Centre site in Toowoomba.
In a statement of claim filed in the Federal Circuit Court, the ABCC has alleged:
Prior to the commencement of a site induction at the Grand Central Shopping Centre site on 27 March 2017, Mr D’Arcy asked the worker if he was a union member. The worker replied with words to the effect “not any more”.
The following exchange is then alleged to have taken place:
Mr D’Arcy: “You’ll have to re-join [the Union]”
Worker: “do I have to join?”
Mr D’Arcy: “Yes. The reason that I am here before the induction starts is to make sure that everyone is in the Union.”
Worker: “what if I don’t join the Union?”
Mr D’Arcy: “That’s fine, but you can’t work here, you’ll have to go and work somewhere else.”
When another worker heard this exchange, he joined the conversation and said words to the effect that it was “illegal”. Mr D’Arcy is then alleged to have replied with words to the effect, “If you want to work here then you have to be part of the Union”.
In response to a question from the first worker about how much the CFMEU membership would cost, Mr D’Arcy allegedly said it would be approximately over $500. The following exchange is then alleged to have occurred:
Worker: “I’m only up here for a couple of days. So I’m basically coming up here to work for nothing.”
Mr D’Arcy: “Well, that’s just the way it is.”
The ABCC alleges the conduct in this case contravenes the adverse action, coercion and misrepresentation provisions of the Fair Work Act.