The Full Federal Court has today upheld the ABCC’s appeal to increase penalties awarded against the CFMMEU over 16 strikes and work stoppages at nine Brisbane construction sites in August and September 2016.

The ABCC appealed the original decision arguing the Court had not imposed penalties for all of the unlawful conduct committed by the CFMMEU.

Today’s decision will see the union and officials penalised a total of $668,000, an increase of $146,000.

The 2016 unlawful industrial action was aimed at coercing a major contractor to only employ subcontractors who had entered into an enterprise agreement with the CFMMEU.

At the time CFMMEU officials Matthew Parfitt, Justin Steele, Kurt Pauls, Edward Bland, Antonio Floro, Anthony Stott and Michael Davis targeted nine sites, instigating strikes and disrupting work 16 times from 25 August 2016 to 27 September 2016.

The unlawful conduct impacted large-scale construction projects in Brisbane including the Skytower and Newstead Central Apartments projects and resulted in a number of concrete pours being cancelled.

At the time of the 2016 conduct the ABCC successfully obtained an injunction to prevent further strikes and work stoppages.

In today’s judgment the Full Court said:

“The overall conduct involved a deliberate, premeditated and sustained campaign of unlawful industrial behaviour orchestrated by the union, including elements of intimidation, threat and coercion.”

The Court also found the “union intended that loss be suffered” and:

“…senior officers of the union orchestrated the campaign against Hutchinson.”