Industry Update

FWBC courts wrap-Up

Here is an update of matters lodged in the courts in September:


CFMEU and officials admit breaches and penalised $152k

  • The CFMEU and five of its officials have been penalised a total of $152,600 by the Federal Court of Australia after admitting to conduct including a physical altercation at an Adelaide building site.
  • The Court found the officials contravened Right of Entry laws, on 19 and 20 March 2014, by acting in an improper manner and intentionally hindering and obstructing Hansen & Yuncken management on the $75 million Cbus construction site on Flinders Street.
  • FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said “a Right of Entry permit is a privilege, not a licence to act above the law.”
  • Read more about the case here.


CFMEU official Joseph Myles allegedly threatens to blockade Victorian site

  • FWBC launched proceedings against the CFMEU and its official Joseph Myles for allegedly threatening to blockade a project unless a CFMEU delegate was hired.
  • The union is alleged to have told the head contractor of the $140 million Mitcham and Rooks Roads rail separation project that there would be “war” with “100 guys” mobilised to blockade the site gate if no CFMEU delegate was employed.
  • Joseph Myles allegedly entered the construction site on 22 August 2013 and attempted to prevent subcontractors from working that day.
  • Read more about the case here.

FWBC initiates contempt proceedings against SA CFMEU organiser

  • FWBC launched proceedings alleging contempt of court orders against CFMEU organiser Jim O’Conner.
  • The Federal Court issued orders on 25 March 2014 restraining Mr O’Connor from entering the Royal Adelaide Hospital construction site, unless lawfully exercising his rights under the Fair Work Act.
  • It is alleged Mr O’Connor breached the Federal Court orders by making threats to a subcontractor to “go to war” if a Mr Jason Clarke was not employed, during a site visit to conduct discussions with workers on 13 May 2014.
  • Read more about the case here.

Subcontractor allegedly told it needed an EA with the CFMEU to work “in the city”

  • The CFMEU and one of its officials, as well as a building company and three of its employees, are alleged to have attempted to coerce a subcontractor into signing an enterprise agreement with the union.
  • Harris HMC Interiors (Vic) Pty Ltd was the head contractor at the Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre redevelopment in Carlton, Victoria.
  • Union officials Theo Theodorou and Assistant Secretary Shaun Reardon allegedly told one of the subcontractors that it needed a CFMEU Enterprise Agreement.
  • FWBC alleges Harris Interiors subsequently prevented the subcontractor’s employees from working at the site because no agreement had been signed.
  • Read more about the case here.

FWBC pursues unlawful industrial action at NT’s largest gas project

  • FWBC filed legal proceedings in the Darwin Federal Court against the CFMEU, union organiser Michael Huddy and union delegate Craig Tait, and 66 Laing O’Rourke construction workers for industrial action at the Ichthys LNG Project.
  • It is alleged that workers took unlawful stop work action with the intention of coercing their employer following a union-organised industrial meeting.
  • The stop work action took place after a vote by workers arranged by the CFMEU.
  • FWBC alleges the union was involved through the action of its representatives.
  • Read more about the case here.

FWBC pursues CFMEU blockade of Perth airport expansion

  • The CFMEU and six union officials are facing legal proceedings in the Perth Federal Court for action taken at the $80 million Perth International Airport Extension project.
  • FWBC alleges the CFMEU and its officials, including Assistant State Secretary Joe McDonald, took coercive action to blockade the entrance to the construction site.
  • It is alleged that from 6.30am on 22 October 2013 the union organised approximately 100 individuals to block 160 workers from entering the site, and Joe McDonald verbally abused a female supervisor and her workers as they attempted to enter.
  • Read more about the case here.


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