The Full Federal Court has today imposed penalties totaling $1.7 million against the CFMMEU and a number of its senior officials, including its former and current State Secretaries Brian Parker and Darren Greenfield, for unlawful conduct at the Barangaroo site.
In re-imposing penalties, the Full Court ordered the CFMMEU’s national office to pay 75 per cent of the maximum penalties available. The CFMMEU’s NSW’s office was ordered to pay 40 per cent of the maximum penalties available.
The CFMMEU’s National Office was fined $1,007,250 and the CFMMEU NSW office was fined $510,000.
Former NSW State Secretary Brian Parker was fined $45,400, former union official Luke Collier fined $40,400 and union officials Robert Kera and Danny Reeves fined $41,250 and $41,000 respectively. Another five individuals were fined a combined total of $21,000.
The Federal Court previously found the CFMMEU forced a shutdown of the site in support of their union delegate Peter Genovese who had been suspended from his employment after incidents of throwing a punch at a site manager and threatening to “kill” him.
At the time of the liability judgment, the primary judge, Justice Flick said that Mr Parker and other senior CFMMEU officials led industrial action involving more than 1,000 workers which shut down the site on 24 and 25 July 2014.
The Federal Court found those workers who had attempted to enter the site were abused by CFMMEU officials and called “scum” and “dogs”. A policewoman at the site described how Mr Parker “made sure that I was feeling either intimidated or scared”. The Court noted this “creat[ed] an atmosphere of defiance”.
CFMMEU NSW Assistant State Secretary Robert Kera was heard describing Government Inspectors as “f**king dogs”.
Union organiser Luke Collier was also found to have deliberately read out an Inspector’s mobile telephone number during an address to workers. Mr Collier had told the Inspector: “you’re a f**king grub” and “you’re lower than a paedophile you grub”.
In delivering today’s judgment, the Full Court found:
“This was large scale, planned and skillfully executed illegal industrial activity, carried out by combined actions to maximise the prospects of success.
The Full Court also observed that the CFMMEU required “greater deterrence” because of its “intractable behaviour” and “substantial contravening history”.
ABCC Commissioner Stephen McBurney said the decision delivered today by the Full Federal Court represents the highest penalties in any proceedings brought by the ABCC and its predecessors.
“The level of abuse and intimidation directed against workers, public servants and police officers just doing their jobs, demonstrated a complete disregard for the law,” Mr McBurney said.
Penalties awarded against