January 2013 Industry Update

FWBC alleges CFMEU WA Secretary coerced building company not to host FWBC presentation

FWBC has filed proceedings in the Federal Court, alleging that the CFMEU and its WA Secretary Mick Buchan threatened a building company with “serious repercussions” if it went ahead with plans to host an FWBC presentation for workers.

The company, Polyseal Waterproofing (WA) Pty Ltd (Polyseal) was engaged on the Fiona Stanley Hospital Project, when it had arranged the FWBC presentation to educate its workers about their workplace rights.

FWBC alleges that Mr Buchan demanded Polyseal cancel the presentation, planned for 19 June 2012, or there would be serious repercussions on the Fiona Stanley Project. The company cancelled the presentation.

Polyseal and the CFMEU were negotiating the terms of a new workplace agreement at the time. FWBC alleges that the CFMEU instructed Polyseal’s workers to go on strike on two occasions prior to the planned presentation.

FWBC is seeking penalties against the CFMEU and Mr Buchan for breaching sections 340 and 343 of the Fair Work Act 2009, because, it is alleged, they sought to coerce Polyseal to not exercise its workplace right to seek FWBC assistance.

FWBC regularly conducts presentations at building sites to inform workers about their workplace rights and obligations. We take our educative function seriously and provide advice and assistance to any individual or organisation that requests it.

As the regulator of workplace laws in the construction industry we endeavour to give people the tools they need to observe the law and, when the law is not observed, we enforce it.

Further information

Media release – FWBC files case against CFMEU in WA

Media backgrounder – FWBC launches proceedings against CFMEU and division secretary

FWBC Fact Sheet - Coercion

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