21 February 2016CFMEU allegedly blockades sites, abuses workers after EBA dispute

Thirteen NSW CFMEU officials, including State Secretary Brian Parker, are alleged to have run an orchestrated campaign of unlawful blockades and work disruptions targeting a Sydney concrete pumping firm, according to documents filed in the Federal Circuit Court.

Fair Work Building and Construction alleges Mr Parker and twelve other officials blockaded the Barangaroo project in Sydney from 13-17 February 2015 and also orchestrated blockades at the concrete pumping firm’s other sites at Harold Park on 16-17 February 2015.

The respondents in the matter are:

  • CFMEU
  • CFMEU NSW Branch
  • Brian Parker
  • Luke Collier
  • Darren Greenfield
  • Michael Greenfield
  • Rita Mallia
  • Tony Sloane
  • Robert Kera
  • Salvatore Manna
  • Francis O’Grady
  • Martyn Wyer

FWBC alleges the dispute arose when the concrete pumping firm rejected the CFMEU’s EBA proposal. As a result the firm’s employees undertook protected industrial action. However, it is alleged the CFMEU then proceeded to prevent subcontractors engaged by the concrete pumping firm from carrying out their lawful work.

Conduct at these blockades is alleged to include employees trying to enter the sites being verbally abused and called ‘f*cking scabs’ and ‘filthy dogs’.  There are also allegations that, Mr Parker repeatedly used his vehicle to block access to a concrete pump on the Harold Park site.

FWBC director Nigel Hadgkiss said workers should be allowed to attend their jobs without being abused, heckled or intimidated.

“It is unjustifiable for a worker to be subjected to insults and abuse for simply trying to do their job. We would not tolerate this behaviour in the school yard and we certainly should not have to tolerate it in the workplace,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

FWBC alleges that the above behaviour constitutes adverse action and/or coercion under the Fair Work Act 2009.  Under the Fair Work Act, each of these contraventions is liable to a maximum penalty of $51,000 for an organisation and $10,200 for an individual.

A first directions hearing for the matter has been set for 9 March 2016.

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