Following a landmark ruling by the High Court earlier this year the Full Federal Court has today ordered CFMMEU official Joseph Myles to personally pay a penalty of $19,500. Today’s order prevents Mr Myles from seeking any financial benefit from the CFMMEU to pay the penalty.
This is the first order of its kind and follows Mr Myles’ unlawful blockade of the Regional Rail Link project in Victoria.
The Full Federal Court in June increased Mr Myles’ penalty to $19,500 and the penalty imposed on the CFMMEU was significantly increased to $111,000 for its contraventions of the Fair Work Act.
In its June ruling the Full Federal Court highlighted the importance of personal penalties as an important deterrence of unlawful activities:
“The Union acts through its officials, of whom Mr Myles was, and is, one. The penalty against the individual must be a burden or have a sting to be a deterrent.”
ABC Commissioner Stephen McBurney said today’s order “sends an important message that union officials have to comply with the law like everyone else and should not expect union members to pick up the tab for their unlawful conduct.”
“Today’s ruling provides the framework by which officials who break the law can be held personally responsible for paying their own penalties.
“These types of orders ensure officials feel the sting of penalties where they break the law. Personal payment orders are designed to address and deter repeat offending.”
The ABCC is currently seeking personal payment orders in 14 other matters currently before the Courts.
In 2013 Mr Myles organised a blockade involving nine vehicles and around 20 individuals during a critical concrete pour preventing trucks from entering the Regional Rail Link project site and resulting in tonnes of concrete going to waste.