The ABCC has commenced Federal Court action against the CFMMEU and three of its officials alleging they disrupted a concrete pour during construction of an aged care centre in Kiama, NSW in November 2018.
The ABCC is alleging the CFMMEU officials’ threat to engage in ‘old school’ tactics on the Kiama Aged Care Centre project led to a critical concrete pour being halted and three trucks laden with concrete being wasted.
In its statement of claim the ABCC is alleging on 27 November 2018:
- CFMMEU officials Gerasimos Danalis, Anthony Dimitriou and Anthony Burke entered the project site claiming to ‘have an issue with access and egress’. When asked to show their entry permits the officials refused to do so.
- Shortly after entering the site Mr Burke demanded that workers be removed from the first floor work area and be re-inducted.
- Mr Danalis said words to the effect: “We’ll do it old school and block the concrete trucks”.
- Mr Danalis then walked to the back of a reversing concrete truck preventing it from unloading its contents.
- When a second concrete truck tried to enter the project site all three CFMMEU officials blocked its path. Mr Danalis then shouted words to the effect: “We are shutting down the site”. He then ran his finger across his throat.
- A third concrete truck was also prevented from entering the site as a result of the CFMMEU officials’ actions. The concrete in all three trucks had to be disposed of.
- Mr Danalis and Mr Dimitriou returned to the site the following day, 28 November, again refusing to show their right of entry permits.
The ABCC is alleging the CFMMEU and its three officials contravened section 47 of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act) by organising or engaging in an unlawful picket and the Fair Work Act by failing to produce a valid Federal right of entry permit, hindering and obstructing and acting in an inappropriate manner.
The maximum penalty for each contravention of the Fair Work Act is $63,000 for a body corporate and $12,600 for an individual. The maximum penalty for each contravention of the BCIIP Act is $210,000 for a body corporate and $42,000 for an individual.