September - October 2016 Industry Update

Court summary – finalised matters

Since the last issue of Industry Update, one matter has been finalised in Court. A summary is below.

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

Melbourne company and director penalised for breaching freedom of association

  • Melbourne painting and decorating firm Arteam, along with its director Michael Hanna, have been penalised a total of $20,000 for attempting to force a worker to join the CFMEU.
  • Mr Hanna admitted to sending text messages to workers stating they must have valid union memberships before commencing work. When a worker provided Mr Hanna with material about freedom of association from the Fair Work Ombudsman, Mr Hanna ignored the material and told the worker the CFMEU could shut the site if workers refused to pay union fees.
  • Justice Tracey penalised Mr Hanna $2,400 and Arteam $17,600. Justice Tracey said: “There are thousands of small contractors involved in the construction industry. Many are, potentially, susceptible to pressure to require employees to join a union, fearing that if they do not do so they will not be engaged to work on commercial construction sites”.
  • The CFMEU and one of its representatives, Godwin Farrugia, are also listed as respondents in this matter. However, the CFMEU and Mr Farrugia are defending the allegations against them and a trial will take place in 2017.

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