In a busy period for the agency seven matters have been finalised in the courts since the last Industry Update.

The following is a snapshot of these matters::

Court penalises CFMMEU and its official $39,050 for ‘offensive’ and ‘unprovoked’ abuse of subcontractor

On 1 November 2019 the Federal Circuit Court has today imposed penalties totalling $39,050 against the CFMMEU and its official Blake Hynes after he acted in an aggressive manner and abused subcontractor Enco’s general manager at the Logan Enhancement Project.

The CFMMEU was penalised $34,650 and Mr Hynes $4,400.

Federal Court penalises “serial offender” CFMMEU for enforcing “no ticket, no start” policy

On 14 October 2019, the Federal Court imposed penalties totalling $69,000 against the CFMMEU and its shop steward Kevin Pattinson for preventing an apprentice and electrician from working on a Frankston construction site because they were not members of the union.

In handing down his judgment today Justice Snaden said the union was a “serial offender” that “…appears to treat the imposition of financial penalties in respect of those contraventions as little more than the cost of its preferred business model.”

(This decision is subject to appeal)

Aldi blockade leads to $80,000 penalty for CFMMEU, personal payment order for organiser

The Federal Court on 11 October 2019, imposed penalties totalling $92,000 against the CFMMEU and its organiser Drew MacDonald for their involvement in a blockade of Aldi’s Altona store during its construction in 2014. The blockade followed the CFMMEU’s demands that the construction company sign an enterprise agreement with the union.

The Court ordered the CFMMEU to pay $80,000 and imposed a personal payment order of $12,000 on Mr MacDonald. 

Devine Constructions found to have discriminated as a result of towing CFMMEU line

On 25 September 2019, the Federal Court in Brisbane penalised Devine Constructions, its general manager and a senior employee $38,000 for refusing to engage a steel fabrication company because it did not have a CFMEU enterprise agreement.

The judgment required half the penalties, $19,000, to be paid to the steel fabrication company – Craig’s Engineering. 

CFMMEU and head contractor penalised over $100,000 for discriminating and threatening subcontractor

The Federal Court on 20 September 2019 imposed penalties totalling $108,875 against the CFMMEU and Harris HMC Interiors for attempting to coerce a demolition subcontractor to make an enterprise agreement with the CFMMEU at the Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre in Carlton.

The Court ordered the CFMMEU to pay a penalty of $72,000 and imposed a personal payment order of $9,000 on CFMMEU official Theo Theodorou for his unlawful conduct. 

Discriminating against subcontractor following CFMMEU threat costs company $575,000

On 20 September 2019, the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane penalised Forest Meiers Construction and its construction manager a total of $35,000 for refusing to engage subcontractor C&K Tiling because the company did not have an enterprise agreement with the CFMMEU.

The penalty follows a compensation and interest order on 26 June 2019 where Forest Meiers was ordered to pay the tiling subcontractor $240,000 (which included nearly $40,000 interest).

Court exposes ‘contrived’ safety claim: CFMMEU and official penalised $34,500 in Geelong Grammar matter

On 13 September 2019, the Federal Court handed down penalties totalling $34,500 against the CFMMEU and its former official Brendan Murphy after Mr Murphy was found to have intentionally hindered and obstructed construction work at the Geelong Grammar school in December 2014. In handing down the penalty judgment Justice Mortimer took into account Mr Murphy’s conduct, including “the contrived OH&S concerns”.