13 July 2015 Industry Update

Court fines CFMEU and officials $545,000

The CFMEU and five of its officials have been fined $545,000 for unlawful coercion at a taxpayer-funded housing project for the long-term homeless.

The CFMEU officials disrupted work at the site for seven days in a bid to coerce the head contractor into signing an enterprise agreement.

CFMEU official Joseph Myles told employees words to the effect: “You’ve all got a long time left in the industry, and we can influence your future jobs”.

When a sub-contractor asked: “What are the consequences to my business if I bring my boys on site?” CFMEU official Paul Cradden replied: “You want to know what the consequences are? You would be committing industrial suicide.”

When cars illegally parked in front of the site received parking tickets, Mr Cradden told the site manager words to the effect: “You think a $75 fine will stop us?” On another day, Mr Cradden whispered “You’re f*cked” in the site manager’s ear.

When the site manager asked CFMEU official Mark O’Brien to “please move the vans” which were blocking the entrance and had banners tied to them which said “CFMEU Workers Protest”, Mr O’Brien replied: “No, I don’t know where the keys are.”

Mr O’Brien also said to a Grocon-employed foreman: “Hey scabby, gay boy, gay boy, gay boy, scabby.”

In fining the CFMEU, the Court referred to the union’s “outrageous disregard in the past and also in the present case of Australian industrial norms”.

The Court also said that any organisation “which persistently abuses the privilege by engaging in unlawful conduct cannot expect to remain registered.”

The Court imposed the following fines:

CFMEU: $400,000

CFMEU Official Joseph Myles: $40,000

CFMEU Official Paul Cradden: $30,000

CFMEU Official Mark O’Brien: $30,000

CFMEU delegate Jack Cummins: $25,000

CFMEU Official Mike Davis: $20,000

 More details about the court’s findings are available in FWBC’s media release about the judgment.

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