November-December 2016 Industry Update

Court summary – new matters

Since the last issue of Industry Update, the agency has commenced proceedings in one matter.
CFMEU targeted company with deliberate and coordinated campaign, ABCC alleges

  • The CFMEU and four of its officials, including Queensland State Secretary Michael Ravbar and the then Assistant State Secretary Peter Close, are facing Federal Court action for allegedly undertaking a targeted and coordinated operation to disrupt the work of a crane company on multiple sites because it refused to sign up to a CFMEU enterprise agreement.
  • The alleged action was undertaken at the direction of Mr Ravbar and Mr Close and involved CFMEU organisers repeatedly attending sites where the company was working, stopping the cranes from working and threatening contractors with “ongoing dramas” if they did not engage an “approved CFMEU crane contractor”.
  • When the crane company refused to sign the pattern agreement, it is alleged Mr Ravbar directed officials to undertake a coordinated operation to disrupt the company’s work by attending its yard, following its cranes to worksites and stopping them from working. Two officials followed a crane to the Port Connect project and blocked the crane with their vehicles and concrete barriers, causing work in the area to be stopped. Officials told the construction manager stoppages would continue as long as the project used the company and provided a list of “CFMEU-approved contractors”, saying “to keep your project going use one of these companies”.
  • Commissioner Nigel Hadgkiss said that the brazen and calculated nature of the alleged conduct was of grave concern and reflected a serious disregard for workplace laws.

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