July - August 2016 Industry Update

Court summary – new matters

Since the last issue of Industry Update, FWBC has commenced proceedings in the following three matters.

Summaries of all current and past FWBC-initiated Court proceedings are available on our website.

CFMEU official in court over allegations of abusive behaviour (14 July 2016)

  • The CFMEU and its official, Richard Hassett, are facing court following allegations that Mr Hassett acted in an abusive and intimidating manner towards site management at the Parliament Square Stage 1A project site in Hobart.
  • FWBC alleges that Mr Hassett entered the site on a number of occasions without providing an entry notice. On one of the occasions, Mr Hassett allegedly responded to the site foreman’s assertion that he could not talk to the workers outside of break time by saying “You can’t f-cking stop me” and also swore a number of times at and sought to intimidate the site Workplace Health and Safety supervisor.
  • FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said such conduct demonstrated flagrant disregard for right of entry laws and saw those who were simply trying to follow lawful process being subject to obscene abuse.

Workers called “dog c*nts” and threatened with standover tactics by CFMEU (25 July 2016)

  • FWBC has commenced proceedings against the CFMEU and its official Bradley Upton following allegations that Mr Upton abused and threatened construction workers on the Gorgon LNG Project who were not members of the union.
  • It is alleged that Mr Upton addressed a group of 50 to 60 workers on the site and made threatening statements including:
    • “The f-cking 90 dog c-nts that resigned from the union the day after we signed the EBA after we got the conditions we got now, this is a f—king union site. If you don’t f-cking like it, f-ck off somewhere else.”
    • “This is a f-cking union site, we have other union sites starting up next year and if you’re not in the union, you can f-ck off too, you are not welcome.”
  • FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said such behaviour must be stamped out of the building and construction industry, stating “There is no such thing as a ‘union site’. All workers must be free to decide to join or not join a union without facing threats or abuse.”

FWBC alleges worker stopped from working on site for not being a CFMEU member (27 July 2016)

  • The CFMEU and its officer, Andrew Harisiou, are facing court after Mr Harisiou allegedly refused to let a worker who was not a CFMEU member work on the Pacific Werribee Shopping Centre site in Victoria and coerced another worker to pay union membership fees before he was allowed to work on the site.
  • FWBC alleges that Mr Harisiou told workers at the site that “if you’re not part of the union, you’re not allowed on this site”.
  •  FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said that such closed shop practices have no place in the building and construction industry, or any other Australian workplace.

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