5 March 2015 Industry Update

Court penalises CFMEU and officials $205,100

The CFMEU and 10 of its current and former officials were penalised $205,100 for illegal activity on three Adelaide construction sites in a case brought by FWBC.

The conduct included CFMEU official John Perkovic abusing an FWBC Investigator. The court said Mr Perkovic “instigated the incident and engaged in sustained intimidatory and abusive conduct”.

This included Mr Perkovic calling the investigator a “f**king piece of sh*t” during the confrontation at the Ibis Hotel construction site, as he positioned himself “so closely to [the FWBC Investigator] as to attempt physical intimidation”.

The penalties of $205,100 are for right of entry breaches at Resthaven Aged Care Facility, the Ibis Hotel site and Minda Homes Master Plan Stage 1 – which will offer accommodation and services to people living with intellectual disability. The $205,100 includes a $5000 penalty for Mr Perkovic and a $4000 penalty for CFMEU SA’s Assistant Secretary Michael McDermott.

The Federal Court described the CFMEU’s behaviour as “coordinated and strategic”.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss expressed his concern that the agency was dealing with a union which seemed “completely indifferent” to the law.

“Just as FWBC cannot pick and choose who we bring before the courts, the CFMEU cannot pick and choose when it obeys the law,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

“Everyone on a construction site needs to follow the law whether they are a union official, worker or employer”.

You can read more about this case here.

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