Warren Cruse v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and Noel Washington

Applicant: ABCC Inspector Warren Cruse

Respondent(s): CFMEU, Noel Washington

Date filed: 30 September 2008

Court Findings:

The Federal Magistrates Court found that the CFMEU and CFMEU official Noel Washington engaged in unlawful industrial action in contravention of section 38 of the BCII Act by holding an unauthorised stop work meeting at the Yarra Arts Project in Melbourne in October 2006.

Bovis Lend Lease Pty Ltd was the head contractor for the construction of the Melbourne Recital Hall and the Melbourne Theatre Company's theatre located at 133 Southbank Boulevard, Melbourne (Yarra Arts Project). LCR Lindores Group Pty Ltd (LCR Lindores) and Sergi Pty Ltd were retained to perform crane work at the site.

On 6 October 2006, four employees of Sergi Pty Ltd were scheduled to work on a crane installation. Noel Washington of the CFMEU attended the site and held an unauthorised stop work meeting with the Sergi employees.

During the stop work meeting Mr Washington directed those employees not to perform the crane installation work and the Sergi employees did not do any work that concerned the crane installation for part of the afternoon of 6 October as a result of Mr Washington's direction.

The stoppages were partly motivated to pressure a subcontractor at the site to enter an enterprise agreement with the CFMEU.

Court Outcome:

On 29 July 2009, Justice Marshall imposed a penalty of $10,000 on the CFMEU and a penalty of $5000 on Mr Washington.

view the reported case at: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/2009/787.html