CFMEU and its site delegate face legal action for forcing worker to pay union fees

The ABCC has launched proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane against the CFMEU and its site delegate Peter D’Arcy.

It is alleged Mr D’Arcy attempted to force a worker to join the union and pay union fees at the Grand Central Shopping Centre site on 27 March 2017.

In a Statement of Claim, the ABCC alleged that:

  • Prior to the site induction, Mr D’Arcy asked a worker if he was a union member, the worker replied with words to the effect “not anymore”.
  • An exchange then took place where Mr D’Arcy said words to the effect “You’ll have to re-join [the Union]”.
  • When the worker asked “what if I don’t join the Union?”, Mr D’Arcy replied “That’s fine, but you can’t work here, you’ll have to go and work somewhere else”.
  • In response to another worker who said that it was “illegal”, Mr D’Arcy said words to the effect “If you want to work here then you have to be part of the Union”.

The ABCC alleges the conduct in this case contravenes the adverse action, coercion and misrepresentation provisions of the Fair Work Act.

The maximum penalty for a breach of the Fair Work Act in this case is $54,000 for bodies corporate and $10,800 for individuals.