Stuart v AWU and Lee

Respondent(s): Australian Workers Union

Date filed: 30 March 2009

Court Findings:

On 25 August 2009 the Federal Magistrates Court found the Australian Workers Union and Mr Lee contravened s38 of the BCII Act when Mr Lee held a meeting with employees of subcontractor BMC at the Maryvale Paper Mill (the site) in Morwell, Victoria.

Paper Australia Pty Ltd owns and operates the Maryvale Paper Mill facility in Morwell, Victoria. During 2007 and 2008, Paper Australia was undertaking a large expansion project involving various building and construction works at the site, known as the Pulp Mill Project. BMC were contracted to undertake works at the site.

The meeting commenced at 1.00pm and was scheduled to finish at 1:30 pm.  The meeting concluded at approximately 1.50pm and the BMC employees left the crib room. Each BMC employee who had attended the meeting failed to return to work for the remainder of the working day.

Court Outcome:

On 25 August 2009 the Court imposed a penalty of $6,700 on the AWU and $1300 on Mr Lee for taking unlawful industrial action.