CFMEU official faces court after allegedly hindering safety inspector

A Victorian CFMEU official is facing Federal Court action after allegedly intentionally hindering a WorkSafe Victoria inspector on a construction site in Castlemaine.

Fair Work Building and Construction has filed a claim against Alex Tadic and the CFMEU, alleging that Mr Tadic refused to comply with directions from the WorkSafe Victoria inspector and became rude, angry and aggressive when the WorkSafe inspector did not comply with his demands to shut the site down.

According to FWBC’s statement of claim, Mr Tadic asked to accompany the WorkSafe inspector during an occupational health and safety inspection of the Castlemaine Police Station project on 13 June 2014.

It is alleged that during the WorkSafe inspection, Mr Tadic began behaving in an aggressive and derogatory manner, swearing at the WorkSafe inspector and engaging in conduct that had an adverse effect on the inspector’s ability to undertake the inspection of the site.

After the WorkSafe inspector refused to close the site down at the CFMEU’s request, Mr Tadic is alleged to have asked the inspector whether he was in the “back pocket” of the builder, saying “you are a f*cking idiot, you’re an embarrassment, you’re pathetic. You’re all for the builder, nothing for the worker”.

Mr Tadic allegedly became aggressive towards the WorkSafe inspector, threatening to call his boss and complain, appearing to leave a voicemail with the official’s employer. Mr Tadic is alleged to have concluded by saying words to the effect of “this is not over” and “I’ll sort this out”.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said it was disappointing that yet again, some union officials misuse safety to pursue industrial agendas.

“Workplace health and safety inspectors must be able to carry out their duties free from hindrance or aggression from anyone, including union officials. Unfortunately, we see many examples of people misusing safety as a means of pursuing other agendas,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

“It is also noteworthy that FWBC would not have been able to get this matter to Court without the use of the agency’s compulsory powers.”  

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