The ABCC commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against the CFMEU and its organiser Walter (Vinnie) Molina for allegedly undertaking coercive and adverse action on the Perth Stadium site, by threatening to set up a picket line.
In a statement of claim filed in the Federal Court, the ABCC alleges:
- On 5 August 2016, Molina addressed a meeting of around 500 workers at the Perth Stadium site following a fatality on a construction site in the ACT the previous day.
- During the meeting, Molina said words to the effect: “Everyone walked out at [another project] and are not returning to work until Monday. Let’s have a show of hands to show a sign of respect for the fallen worker and the family by walking off the job.”
- At the meeting, a senior site manager confirmed to the workforce: “The site is operational.”
- Approximately 30 to 50 percent of the workers left the site after the meeting.
- Molina then approached a subcontractor’s project manager and said words to the effect: “ … you need to send your guys home. Have some respect. You need to send your guys home.”
- The project manager responded saying words to the effect: “Vinnie, you know I can’t do that.”
- Molina then said words to the effect: “If you send your men back out to site expect a picket line on Monday.”
The ABCC alleges the conduct in this case contravenes the coercion and adverse action provisions of the Fair Work Act.