CFMEU allegedly threatens multiple Melbourne subcontractors with black-bans

FWBC has launched Federal Court proceedings against the CFMEU and three of its officials after they allegedly threatened to ‘black-ban’ numerous subcontractors at an inner-Melbourne construction site.

It is alleged that CFMEU officers Izmar Miftari, Theo Theodorou and Rob Graauwmans attempted to apply pressure to the head contractor at a Carlton building site after the head contractor engaged a traffic management firm who did not have an enterprise agreement with the union. It is alleged the CFMEU applied pressure to the head contractor by threatening to enforce black-bans on a number of subcontractors who were engaged on the project. As a result of the threats, some subcontractors did not carry out work that was scheduled to take place.

It is alleged that on 28 March 2015, Mr Miftari, approached a crane subcontractor during a lift while critical equipment was about two-thirds of the way up the building and yelled “put it down, put it down, you stop the fucking lift you put it down now” and allegedly told the head contractor “there is a non-EBA traffic company and there will be no lift”.

Later that morning it is alleged Mr Miftari approached the crane crew and said “If you do that lift you know what will happen” and “go home”.

It is also alleged that on 28 March 2015 Mr Graauwmans approached the crane operator and warned them against performing any work saying “It is in your best interest to pack up and leave” and “This has got nothing to do with you at this stage but you don’t want to be doing any lifts”.

FWBC also claims Mr Graauwmans then warned two other crane companies against performing work at the Carlton site.

On 30 March 2015 FWBC claims Mr Miftari approached two other subcontractors, a provider of painting services and a business that installed elevators and threatened black-bans if they carried out any works on the site.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said threats made against subcontractors designed to instill fear of being shut-out of the industry would not be tolerated.

“Closing construction sites and threatening to enforce black-bans against anyone who does not comply with demands made by the union is a breach of the Fair Work Act. No one should be subject to this type of threatening and intimidating behaviour in their workplace,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

A directions hearing is scheduled for 29 April 2016 in the Federal Court.

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