Michelle Cozadinos v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and Craig Johnston

Applicant: ABCC Inspector Michelle Cozadinos

Respondent(s): CFMEU, Craig Johnston

Date filed: 31 March 2008

Court Findings:

The Federal Magistrates Court found Mr Johnston contravened s.38 of the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 and s.494 of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 by engaging in unlawful industrial action at the Deakin University Medical School site in Waurn Ponds, Vic without the authorisation of Wycombe Constructions.

In 2007, Wycombe Constructions Pty Ltd (Wycombe) was the head contractor on the Deakin University Medical School Refurbishment Project in Waurn Ponds. Wycombe employed two labourers including CFMEU shop steward Mr Johnston.

The other labourer would generally unload deliveries of building materials to the site for Wycombe subcontractor, Big Contractors Pty Ltd (Big).

From early 2007, Mr Johnston had pressured directors of Big to employ a particular labourer on the site.

On 19 March 2007, Peer Industries Pty Ltd delivered a load of building materials for Big. The Wycombe site manager instructed the second labourer to unload the materials, however Mr Johnston told the labourer not to unload the materials.

The Peer Industries truck left the site without being unloaded.

Court Outcome:

On 7 May 2009 Burchardt FM found that that Mr Johnston acted out of mischief and/or malice. A penalty of $7,000 was imposed on Mr Johnston and $5,000 on the CFMEU for engaging in unlawful industrial action. The penalty imposed on Johnston was later formally revised to $4,600.

view the reported case at: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FMCA/2009/272.html