More FWBC penalties against McDonald

The Federal Magistrates Court has handed down penalties against CFMEU WA Assistant Secretary Joe McDonald and the CFMEU in the latest of a series of costly losses for the union in the West.

On 5 October 2012, Federal Magistrate Lucev imposed penalties totalling $6,380 against Mr McDonald and $28,600 against the union for unlawful industrial action and making false and misleading statements about workers’ requirements to join the union at the Diploma Herdsman Business Park project on 25 February 2008. Federal Magistrate Lucev also awarded $15,000 in costs in favour of FWBC.

In an agreed statement of facts, Mr McDonald and the union admitted that he told workers that they had to be members of the union and that there was an agreement between the union and Diploma to that effect.

"Mr McDonald is a recidivist who regularly flouts workplace laws and then turns up to Court with no defence, ready to do a deal using CFMEU members’ funds,” said FWBC Chief Executive Leigh Johns.

"In FWBC we have a regulator who consistently stands against illegal action by both employers and employees. This renders the conduct of Mr McDonald pointless and self-indulgent.”

This latest decision comes just weeks after a court ordered the CFMEU and Mr McDonald to pay a $200,000 penalty for engaging in a targeted industrial campaign against the same company on another site.

"While we welcome the Court’s handing down the penalties and costs, the fact is that Mr McDonald has wasted the Court’s time, as well as some $250,000 worth of union funds in recent weeks alone,” Mr Johns said.

"If Mr McDonald stopped his pattern of unlawful behaviour, hard-working members of his union would be better off, in both their industrial outcomes, and through savings of some $1 million his actions have cost them in penalties since 2005.”

For further information on the proceeding, see the image descriptionMedia Backgrounder - Radisich v CFMEU and McDonald.