10 March 2016Victorian union organiser facing multiple claims in Federal Court

Victorian CFMEU official Joseph Myles has been put before the courts over allegations he repeatedly breached workplace laws at the Springvale Level Crossing Removal between 19 June 2013 and 1 April 2014.

In documents in the Federal Court, Fair Work Building and Construction claims Mr Myles contravened multiple sections of the Fair Work Act. FWBCs statement of claim alleges:

  • On 19 June 2013 Mr Myles allegedly threatened to orchestrate blockades of the site if the head contractor engaged a particular subcontractor on site. Mr Myles is alleged to have said he was “on a mission to get (subcontractor)” and “there will be pickets outside the gates if they’re on this job”.
  • On 6 February 2014 Mr Myles allegedly arranged for approximately 40 workers to remain in the sheds and not begin work. The work ban was only lifted after the head contractor agreed to put workers through a CFMEU run manual handling course. Mr Myles is alleged to have rejected alternative training courses that were suggested.
  • On 13 February 2014 Mr Myles allegedly entered the site and organised an unauthorised work ban by arranging for four employees to abandon their shifts.
  • Later on 13 February 2014, it is alleged Mr Myles re-entered the worksite and refused to produce a right-of-entry permit. Mr Myles is alleged to have said “I haven’t got any ID, I’m not leaving site, why don’t call the police? I would love that”. Protective Services Officers later attended the site, at which point Mr Myles left the premises.
  • On 19 March 2014 Mr Myles is alleged to have entered the site and failed to comply with a request to produce a right-of-entry permit. When the site superindendent said “I’ve heard your permit’s expired”, Mr Myles allegedly responded by saying “that’s right”.
  • On 1 April 2014 it is alleged that Mr Myles again obtained access to the site without holding a current right-of-entry permit.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said all building industry participants must adhere the right-of-entry provisions contained in the Fair Work Act 2009.

“The rule of law does not cease to exist once you enter a construction site. These allegations outline a sustained pattern of behaviour involving repeated contraventions of the Fair Work Act,” Mr Hadgkiss said

A directions hearing has been set for 29 April 2016.

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