13 November 2014Suspend CFMEU SA State Secretary Aaron Cartledge’s permit says FWBC

Fair Work Building & Construction has applied for five CFMEU officials, including SA State Secretary Aaron Cartledge, to have their Right of Entry permits revoked or suspended. FWBC has also put to the Fair Work Commission that four of the officials be banned from being issued a permit for up to two years.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said his agency had made the applications after the Federal Court penalised the CFMEU and the officials a total of $152,600 a month ago. The Court found the officials breached Right of Entry laws on 19 and 20 March 2014, at the $75 million Cbus construction site in Flinders Street, Adelaide. The conduct included a physical altercation with a site manager.

In its applications to the Fair Work Commission, FWBC calls for:

  • Aaron Cartledge’s permit to be suspended and he be banned from receiving a permit for 12 months;

  • Brendan Pitt’s permit to be revoked and he be banned from receiving a permit for two years;

  • Jim O’Connor’s to permit be revoked and he be banned from receiving a permit for two years;

  • David Bolton’s to permit be suspended and be banned from receiving a permit for 12 months;

  • Luke Stephenson’s permit to be suspended for three months.

 

The men all admitted to intentionally hindering and obstructing Hansen Yuncken site managers at the project. Mr Luke Stephenson, a former CFMEU official, no longer works for the CFMEU SA branch but still holds a valid Right of Entry permit.

In determining appropriate penalties to issue, Justice Mansfield said about Mr Cartledge, he “is the most senior CFMEU officer in South Australia. He was aware that what he was doing did not comply with the law.”

His Honour also said: “Both Pitt and O’Connor were prepared to use force to gain entry” and in relation to Mr Pitt: “that behaviour demonstrates that he did not care that he was breaking the entry rules, but that he was so indifferent to complying with them as to force entry and make the threats to [the site manager].”

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said Right of Entry permits are a privilege and should be respected. “All permit holders should respect the rule of law, especially permit holders of such seniority as Mr Cartledge. He should be leading by example.”

 

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