The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has upheld a decision to refuse to grant an entry permit to Paul McAleer, NSW Branch Secretary and National Vice President of the Maritime Division of the CFMMEU.

In a decision published in November last year, the Fair Work Commission found Mr McAleer was not a fit and proper person to hold an entry permit. This decision was appealed by the union.

The Full Bench considered the adverse findings made by the Federal Court concerning the unlawful conduct of Mr McAleer in four separate judgments.

In two previous Federal Court decisions, Mr McAleer was found to have organised unlawful industrial action and was ordered to pay penalties totalling $36,000.

The Full Bench found the judgments of the Federal Court demonstrated:

… that Mr McAleer repeatedly preferred the interests of his members over compliance with the law…
Those two decisions… were demonstrative of contraventions by Mr McAleer of the FW Act in pursuance of the industrial interests of the members Mr McAleer was representing

The ABCC Commissioner exercised his statutory right to intervene in the appeal. The Commissioner submitted that the appeal should be dismissed.

ABCC Commissioner Stephen McBurney said today’s decision sends a strong message that all union officials who wish to apply for a federal entry permit must be fit and proper persons.

“Entry permit holders are given significant rights and powers to access premises. The Fair Work Act requires that only fit and proper persons can be trusted to exercise these significant rights,” Mr McBurney said.

“The Full Bench has upheld the Fair Work Commission’s decision that Mr McAleer is not a fit and proper person to hold a right of entry permit as a result of his pattern of unlawful behaviour.”

Media Release
2 March 2020

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