18 October 2018

The CFMMEU has been fined yet again for bullying small business people and workers.

The Federal Court found that the union and six of its officials had threatened and coerced contractors into signing union wage agreements and broken safety and right of entry laws in 2014 and 2015 resulting in fines of totalling $313,000 and orders to publish paid advertisements about the breaches.

“Bullying by the CFMMEU is an everyday reality for small business people and workers on building sites around the country. These are people who are just trying to earn a living and build successful businesses that employ people and the CFMMEU wants to deny them that right unless they bow the union’s threats and intimidation,”  Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

Six union officials (including three senior officers – former NSW State Secretary Brian Parker, Assistant State Secretary Robert Kera, and organiser Luke Collier) were found by the court to have taken unlawful action against a group of concreting companies in order to coerce them into signing Union Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBAs).

In his judgment, Justice Flick said of the CFMMEU:

‘The conduct… evidences a continuing commitment on the part of the CFMEU to pursue its industrial objectives by unlawful means and a continuing commitment to pay such penalties as are imposed as but the “cost of doing business”

“Without the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) holding the CFMMEU to account and bringing their appalling behaviour to the attention of the courts and the community, then the union would just get away with bullying small business people,” Denita Wawn said.

“This decision by the Federal Court is more evidence that the ABCC is essential to ensuring the rule of law is observed on construction sites just like it is on normal workplaces,” she said.

“In under 2 years, the CFMMEU has incurred over $8 million in fines. This is money that comes out of their members pockets, every time they are caught they never show any remorse. This is why our industry needs the ABCC,” Denita Wawn said.

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