October 2013 Industry Update

WA workers incur $1m in penalties for CBI strike

Workers who participated in unlawful industrial action on a West Australian building site have been ordered to pay penalties totalling $1,068,000.

The respondents in the case were 117 CBI Construction Pty Ltd (CBI) employees at the Woodside LNG Expansion Project on the Burrup Peninsula in October 2008.

The workers took action in support of a claim they were entitled to redundancy payments under union collective agreements, and  a claim for re-employment on the next phase of the project.

CBI denied the claims on the grounds that the project had not entered its new phase.

Justice Gilmour found that the eight days of unlawful industrial action had resulted in significant economic losses and project delays. He said the action was in defiance of an Australian Industrial Relations Commission return to work order issued after the first day of the action.

Workers who obeyed the AIRC injunction and who have not engaged in subsequent contravening conduct had 50 per cent of their penalties suspended for three years.

Further information

Media release – Federal Court orders $1 million penalties FWBC Western Australia case

FWBC website – Unlawful Industrial Action

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