There have been 10 matters finalised in the courts and one compensation order since the last Industry Update:
On 3 July 2019, The Federal Circuit Court in Sydney has imposed penalties totaling $13,500 against the CFMMEU and its then organiser Luke Collier after he refused to follow OHS procedures while on the $163 million Barangaroo Headland Park site on 5 March 2014. Mr Collier was penalised $2,700 which brings total penalties imposed by the Courts against him to $63,600.
On 26 June 2019, the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane found Forest Meiers Construction liable to pay $200,000 in compensation for taking adverse action and discriminating against a tiling subcontractor because they did not have an enterprise agreement with the CFMMEU.
The Federal Court on 21 June ordered Victorian CFMMEU official Michael Powell to pay $2,600 after he entered the Aquanation site in Ringwood on 21 May, 22 May, 15 July and 28 October in 2014 without a valid federal right of entry permit and refused to leave when asked to do so.
The penalty judgment reaffirmed earlier High Court and Full Federal Court rulings that union officials must hold valid federal entry permits when exercising rights of entry under state or territory OHS laws.
Commercial painting business Prolac P/L and its director were penalised $16,200 for terminating a subcontractor’s contract on the EQ Tower project in Melbourne‘s CBD in 2017. Prolac had admitted to taking adverse action against the painting subcontractor when it terminated his contract because he was not up to date with his CFMMEU fees. In the same matter, the Federal Court in April this year imposed $78,000 in penalties against the CFMMEU and shop stewards Maurice Campanaro and Joe Caratozzolo after they were found to have coerced the subcontractor to pay his outstanding fees.
On 21 June the Federal Court penalised the CFMMEU and two of its officials, Stephen Long and Drew MacDonald $119,300 over repeated unlawful entries and making threats while on Qanstruct's Laverton North and Cheltenham construction sites in 2014. The Court also ordered Mr Long and Mr MacDonald to personally pay their penalties. This is only the third time personal payment orders have been made against building and construction union officials.
On 6 June 2019, the Federal Court imposed $137,000 in penalties against the CFMMEU and its official for unlawful conduct and putting worker’s safety at risk at the Living City Project in Devonport in June 2017.
The CFMMEU was penalised $115,000 and its Tasmanian official Richard Hassett was penalised $22,000. The judgment against the union and Mr Hassett took total penalties awarded against the CFMMEU to over $4 million in this financial year.
The Federal Court on 8 May 2019 increased a penalty awarded against building company J Hutchinson Pty Ltd from $1,200 to $20,000.
The ABCC filed an appeal from the Federal Circuit Court’s original decision on the basis the penalty was manifestly inadequate.
The company was penalised for contravening strike pay provisions in the Fair Work Act after the company made payments to 10 workers who had engaged in unlawful industrial action.
On 15 April 2019, the Federal Court in Brisbane imposed $58,500 in penalties against the CFMMEU, its State Secretary Michael Ravbar and fellow union official Andrew Sutherland over their unlawful action on the Legacy Way Port Connect Project in 2012.
The penalty follows the CFMMEU, Mr Ravbar and Mr Sutherland, attempting to coerce Brisbane-based crane hire company Universal Cranes into entering into an enterprise agreement with the union.
The Full Federal Court on 12 April 2019 upheld the ABCC’s appeal to increase penalties awarded against the CFMMEU over 16 strikes and work stoppages at nine Brisbane construction sites in August and September 2016.
The Full Court’s decision saw the union and seven of its officials penalised a total of $668,000, an increase of $146,000.
On 5 April 2019, the Full Federal Court imposed penalties totaling $1.7 million against the CFMMEU and a number of its senior officials, including its former and current State Secretaries Brian Parker and Darren Greenfield, for unlawful conduct at the Barangaroo site.
In re-imposing penalties, the CFMMEU’s National Office was fined $1,007,250 and the CFMMEU NSW office was fined $510,000.
Former NSW State Secretary Brian Parker was fined $45,400, former union official Luke Collier fined $40,400 and union officials Robert Kera and Danny Reeves fined $41,250 and $41,000 respectively. Another five individuals were fined a combined total of $21,000.
The Federal Court on 4 April 2019 imposed total penalties of $78,000 against the CFMMEU and two of its shop stewards for coercing a worker to pay union fees on two separate construction sites in the Melbourne CBD.