The ABCC has commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Court against the CFMMEU and two of its organisers, Anthony Sloane and Brendan Holl, after they stopped workers on a Sydney construction site in February 2018.
The proceeding is the first commenced by the ABCC under the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act) in New South Wales.
The ABCC is alleging the pair organised a number of workers from Westform Formwork to unlawfully stop work on the Mezzo Stage 2 Project in Bay Street, Glebe over a disputed claim that the workers were entitled to one hour’s pay for a period of wet weather.
The ABCC alleges Mr Sloane and Mr Holl addressed the workers at a pre-start meeting where they advised Westform that the workers would not return to work until the payment was made.
Mr Sloane said words to the effect that: “You can call the Police, the ABCC or even God, but I will not be moving from this site until the payments I’ve requested have been paid. I’m going to park myself here on the job and cause issues for Westform if you don’t fix this.”
In its Statement of Claim filed with the Court, the ABCC is alleging the CFMMEU, Mr Sloane and Mr Holl:
- contravened section 46 of the BCIIP Act – organising unlawful industrial action, and
- section 500 of the Fair Work Act by:
- hindering and obstructing Westform workers from commencing and performing their duties
- failing to give notice of entry under section 487 of the Fair Work Act ; and
- holding discussions outside mealtimes and other breaks under section 484 of the Fair Work Act .
The maximum penalty for each contravention of the BCIIP Act is $210,000 for a body corporate and $42,000 for an individual. The maximum penalty for each contravention of the Fair Work Act is $63,000 for a body corporate and $12,600 for an individual.