Michelle Cozadinos v Michael Dempster and Richard Henry

Applicant: ABCC Inspector Michelle Cozadinos

Respondent(s): Michael Dempster and Richard Henry

Date filed: 8 August 2008

Court Findings:

The Federal Magistrates Court found Mr Dempster and Mr Henry contravened the freedom of association provisions of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 by taking action against two employees of AAA Passive with intent to coerce them to become members of the CFMEU. The court found they made false and misleading representations about their obligation to be or become members of the CFMEU.

Merkon Constructions was engaged to manage the refurbishment of the World Trade Centre site at Siddley Street, Melbourne. Merkon hired AAA Passive Fire Services (AAA Passive) to carry out the fire spraying of beams at the site.

On 27 July 2007, two employees of AAA Passive met with Merkons employee representative Mr Michael Dempster for the purpose of being inducted on the site.

On 27 July 2007, Michael Dempster took action against the two employees of AAA Passive with intent to coerce them to become members of the CFMEU and made false and misleading representations about their obligation to be or become members of the CFMEU.

On 3 August 2007, two employees of AAA Passive attended the site and met with Merkon’s site ‘peggy’, Mr Richard Henry, for the purpose of being inducted. One of these employees was not a member of the CFMEU.

On 3 August 2007, Richard Henry made false and misleading representations that the AAA employee had an obligation to be or become a member of the CFMEU.

Court Outcome:

On 12 November 2008, Federal Magistrate O'Sullivan imposed penalties of $1000 on each of Mr Dempster and Mr Henry for their contraventions of s790 of the Workplace Relations Act.