3 December 2020 

The latest Federal Court decision fining the CFMMEU for bullying highlights yet again the union’s contempt for the law.

“In this instance, the CFMMEU and two of its officials in Tasmania have been fined $221,000 for knowingly entering a construction site unlawfully so they could bully workers,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said. 

“Unfortunately, the CFMMEU has an entrenched culture of bullying that they refuse to renounce, and governments around should be deeply concerned as they embark on massive construction programs to rebuild the economy,” she said. 

“The CFMMEU’s industrial tactics of bullying, intimidation and coercion drive up the cost of construction by as much as 30%. Australian’s should not have to pay more for new schools, hospitals, roads and other social and community infrastructure and facilities, especially when the country is experiencing the worst economic downturn in 100 years,” Denita Wawn said. 

“However, as the courts have identified in court case after court case, the CFMMEU makes repeatedly breaking laws, paying fines and then reoffending as part of its business model,” she said. 

The importance of measures contained in the ensuring integrity laws are also highlighted by this latest decision as the court took into account that the two officials that committed the breaches are ‘recidivist’ offenders,” Denita Wawn said. 

“We do not tolerate bullying in the home, at school or in the workplace and it should by tolerated on construction sites," she said. 

“Also deeply concerning is the fact that the CFMMEU officials sited apparent safety concerns when questioned about their right to be on site but refused to identify potential safety breaches,” Denita Wawn said. 

“Safety must be the number one priority of everyone in our industry. Potential safety breaches must be identified but safety culture will not be improved by union officials concocting safety concerns so that they can enter sites to bully and intimidate workers,” Denita Wawn said. 

Ends....