The ABCC has commenced Federal Circuit Court proceedings against the CFMMEU and two of its officials alleging they delayed a concrete pour at a Labrador project site in Queensland earlier this year.
The ABCC is alleging CFMMEU officials Luke Gibson and Andrew Blakeley attended the $6 million Marine Parade multi-storey apartment site on 30 April this year ahead of a scheduled concrete pour commencing.
A road closure had been put in place, exclusion zones established, and two concrete pumps were in position ready to begin the pour.
In its statement of claim the ABCC is alleging:
The officials approached the site’s health and safety consultant and Mr Gibson said in a loud and aggressive manner words to the effect:
“[name of company] is a f…ing disgrace”, “[name of company] does not care for its workers” and “[name of company’s director] is a f…ing disgrace.”
Following the comments, Mr Gibson and Mr Blakeley entered the established exclusion zones without authorisation.
The officials then stood behind the trucks arriving to deliver concrete for the pour, blocking the trucks from reversing back onto the concrete pumps and delaying the delivery of around 360 cubic metres of concrete to the site.
While standing behind the concrete trucks, Mr Gibson said words to the effect of:
“I’m not letting you guys start pouring anymore concrete” and “You guys won’t be f…ing doing any more pouring today”.
Mr Gibson also said to the concrete truck drivers, words to the effect of:
“Come on, f…ing hit me. I want you to hit me” and “Keep on coming back.”
When Queensland Police arrived at the site the health and safety consultant said she would go to meet them. It was at that time Mr Gibson directed obscene and derogatory abuse towards the female health and safety consultant.
The ABCC has chosen not to print Mr Gibson’s comments due to their highly offensive nature.
Following the arrival of police both officials immediately left the site. Once the police left, Mr Gibson returned to the site where he again placed himself immediately behind the concrete trucks preventing concrete from being poured. Mr Gibson eventually left the site at around 12.25pm.
The ABCC is alleging both officials contravened s.500 of the Fair Work Act 2009 by intentionally hindering and obstructing and acting in an improper manner. The ABCC further alleges that the CFMMEU is liable for the conduct of the CFMMEU officials.
The maximum penalty for each contravention of the Fair Work Act 2009 is $63,000 for a body corporate and $12,600 for an individual.
The ABCC is also seeking personal payment orders against the two officials. Such an order requires the pecuniary penalty imposed by the Court to be paid personally by the officials and not paid or reimbursed directly or indirectly by the CFMMEU.