No new permit for CFMEU's Michael Myles

The Fair Work Commission has refused to grant CFMEU official Michael Myles a new Federal Right of Entry permit, saying Mr Myles has “disrespect and disregard for the rights of occupiers of building sites and the legislative scheme regarding right of entry”.

The CFMEU and CFMEU Queensland both made applications for Mr Myles to be granted a new permit, with Mr Myles’ current permit due to expire on 2 August 2015. Vice President Watson dismissed both applications saying: “I do not consider that Mr Myles is a fit and proper person to hold a right of entry permit”.

Mr Myles appears to lack any desire to comply with the legislative balance (between the interests of union officials and building site occupiers),” Vice President Watson said in his decision handed down on Monday. “Rather, he appears to prefer to operate in a manner that gives him unfettered access and occupiers little choice but to accept his access or to have him physically removed. Where he does not obtain the consent of an occupier to enter premises, his approach seems to be to access the site in any event when he deems it appropriate in order to undertake the functions he wishes to perform. His unions appear to sanction this approach. On the evidence before me I fully expect this behaviour to continue.”

The evidence put before Vice President Watson included that Mr Myles is or has been a respondent in eight court cases.

In its submission that Mr Myles’ applications should be refused, FWBC said that the CFMEU’s extensive history of law-breaking should be considered.

Vice President Watson said in his decision: “There is no evidence before me of constructive efforts by the CFMEU and the CFMEUQ to ensure that its officials comply with the requirements of industrial laws. I am not aware of any legitimate explanation for the large number of contraventions. I am not aware of the extent to which, for example, the CFMEU has required its officials to pay fines imposed on its officials personally. I am not aware of any disciplinary action taken against officials who have been found to contravene industrial laws.” “It appears to me that the poor history of compliance arises from deliberate behaviour sanctioned by the organisations.”

Having regard to all of the circumstances I am not satisfied that Mr Myles is a fit and proper person to hold a right of entry permit. Despite having training on his obligations under the Act Mr Myles has shown a general disregard for those requirements. He has displayed, by his behaviour, that he has no intention of operating within those strictures.”

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