The CFMMEU has been hit with a major financial penalty with the Federal Circuit Court penalising the union and five of its officials $486,500.
The union was found to have organised unlawful blockades and work disruptions targeting Sydney concreting company De Martin and Gasparini (DMG) in 2015.
The Federal Circuit Court found the CFMMEU and its officials Brian Parker, Robert Kera, Salvatore Manna, Michael Greenfield and Luke Collier took action intended to coerce DMG to enter into a CFMMEU enterprise agreement.
- CFMMEU - $404,500
- Brian Parker – $17,000
- Michael Greenfield - $13,500
- Luke Collier - $7,500
- Robert Kera - $21,500
- Salvatore Manna - $22,500
On 13 February 2015 Mr Parker, Mr Kera and other CFMMEU officers, carrying union-branded flags, attended a rally involving more than 70 DMG employees outside the main entrance to Barangaroo site. The DMG employees were taking part in protected industrial action.
On 14, 16 and 17 February CFMMEU officials unlawfully blocked the main entry gate and vehicle access gates preventing subcontractors from entering the site.
Over the three days subcontractors were prevented from attending work and subjected to abuse. Workers were called ‘f*ing scabs’ and ‘filthy dogs’ and concrete trucks were turned away, with at least one driver complaining of being harassed by a CFMMEU official.
Then CFMMEU NSW branch secretary Brian Parker told DMG’s general manager: “we are not mucking around anymore” and “we will keep fighting until the end”.
Former CFMMEU official Luke Collier, who was involved in blocking vehicle access to the site, directed others to: “Stand on the road guys. There’s not enough police to take us all away.”
Handing down his penalty judgment Judge Manousaridis described the conduct of the CFMMEU officials as serious because it was intended:
“…to signal to operators of trucks and workers that they would be prevented from entering the Barangaroo Site to carry out work.”
ABCC Commissioner Stephen McBurney said the extent of the penalties against the CFMMEU and its senior officials highlighted the gravity with which the Courts viewed the union’s practices.
“Penalties in cases brought by the ABCC since its re-establishment on 2 December 2016 have now exceeded $10 million. Total penalties against the CFMMEU and its officials currently stand at $9.62 million,” Mr McBurney said.
“Time and again we see the Courts commenting on the seriousness of the CFMMEU’s unlawful behaviour.
“Sadly senior officials like Mr Parker, Mr Kera, Mr Manna and Mr Greenfield are not first offenders. The striking feature of the history of offending produced to the Court by my agency is the absence of either contrition or remorse.”