Victorian CFMEU officials added to No Permit list

Victorian CFMEU officials Alex Tadic and Drew MacDonald have been added to the no permit list after the Fair Work Commission dismissed their applications to renew their Right of Entry permits.

Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) opposed the permit applications of Mr Tadic and Mr MacDonald on the basis that neither of them met the ‘fit and proper person’ test to be granted federal right of entry powers.

In handing down his decision to refuse Mr MacDonald a Right of Entry Permit, Vice President Watson of the Fair Work Commission highlighted that:

“It is quite disturbing that (Mr MacDonald) has had little involvement in the proceedings and appears to have little knowledge of them. He has not paid fines imposed on him and he appears to leave such matters for the union legal department to handle. More disturbing was his failure to demonstrate that he has learnt anything from these experiences. In his evidence before the Commission he did not profess any understanding of the nature of his transgressions. Nor was he able to explain in any logical way how his conduct would be different on future occasions,” Vice President Watson said.

“The relevant branch of the CFMEU has been found by the Federal Court to have engaged in conduct that evidences a continuing attitude of disobedience of the law and to have an organisational culture in which contraventions of the law have become normalised.”

In relation to Mr Tadic, Vice President Watson found that Mr Tadic did not show any contrition for previous unlawful behaviour that resulted in penalties from the courts, stating that:

“… (Mr Tadic) appears to have taken little interest in the proceedings and the outcomes from the proceedings. The CFMEU has not provided him with any specific training or guidance to avoid a repetition of this conduct. Mr Tadic has not demonstrated that he has learnt lessons from the proceedings. He has not demonstrated an understanding of the conduct that led to findings of unlawfulness. He has not explained how he has adjusted his conduct to ensure that he has and will comply with the law in the future.

A third Victorian official, Mark Travers, received a permit but the Commission agreed with FWBC’s submission that a permit for Mr Travers should have conditions attached. Mr Travers was granted a permit with the condition that he notify the Commission if a court makes any findings or imposes penalties, or if proceedings are commenced against him.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said that under the Fair Work Act 2009, union officials can apply for Right of Entry permits in order to carry out legitimate business on behalf of workers on construction sites, but the privileges granted to permit holders should not be abused.

“The powers granted with a Right of Entry permit are significant and permit holders should take their responsibilities seriously. Right of Entry permits are not tickets allowing site access for officials who want to behave unlawfully,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

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