June 2013 Industry Update

Supreme Court finds CFMEU guilty of contempt in Grocon case

On 24 May 2013, the Victorian Supreme Court found the CFMEU guilty of five counts of contempt for failing to comply with the court’s orders to end the blockade of Grocon’s Emporium and McNab construction sites last year.

Justice Cavanough ruled that the CFMEU and its representatives obstructed access to the sites on 28, 29, 30 and 31 August and 5 September 2013.

Grocon, who is the applicant in the case, argued that the CFMEU orchestrated the obstruction of access to the Emporium and McNab sites, preventing access to workers.

In his judgement, Justice Cavanough stated, at point 346, that all the evidence points “directly and inexorably to the CFMEU as being, at the very least, the main organiser, if not the sole organiser, of the ‘protests’.   Any role played by any other union or anyone else could only have been minor and subordinate.”

Justice Cavanough is yet to determine penalties.

FWBC’s civil litigation proceeding, relating to this matter, is scheduled for a directions hearing on 17 June 2013. FWBC is seeking civil penalties and compensation for third parties who sustained losses as a result of the alleged contraventions.

Further information

FWBC website – FWBC civil litigation proceeding

FWBC website - Coercion

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