Yet another Federal Court judgement has provided 270,000 further reasons why the Parliament should support the Ensuring Integrity Laws, according to Master Builders Australia.
In the decision handed down earlier today, the Court found the CFMMEU and three of its officials had broken workplace laws by engaging in unlawful picketing through a coordinated campaign to block site access.
Two sites were blocked by groups of men standing in front of CFMMEU vehicles which were parked across a driveway. When told to leave and advised they were trespassing, one group said “piss off, we’re here, we’re staying”.
The Court penalised the CFMMEU and the officials penalties totalling $270,000 and made a costs order against the union. Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn said that this judgement showed exactly why we need the Ensuring Integrity laws.
“Two of the three officials involved in this case have a track record of breaking workplace laws, including intimidating and abusive conduct towards workplace inspectors,” Denita Wawn said.
“It makes no sense that, despite their extensive history of lawbreaking, these officials are still out there on the ground and still have the right to exercise all the privileges and protections given under the Fair Work laws,” she said.
“Without the Ensuring Integrity laws, they will just keep on breaking the law and nothing will change,” Denita Wawn said.
“When a Judge writes a decision noting that the CFMMEU has ‘an apparent willingness to contravene industrial laws in a serious way’ that means something – and we hope the Parliament is listening,” she said.
“The ABCC Commissioner was right to say the CFMMEU see these fines as a cost of doing business because that’s exactly what it is – we don’t let drivers keep their licence just because they can pay the fines so why do we let lawbreaking unions do it?,” Denita Wawn said.
“The Ensuring Integrity laws will mean all organisations and officials, be they unions or employer associations, could lose their rights and privileges if they keep breaking workplace laws,” she said.
“Most organisations and officials do the right thing every day and the Ensuring Integrity laws won’t make a difference to those who play by the rules. The simple facts are that unions and their officials do not need to repeatedly and deliberately break workplace laws to represent your members,” Denita Wawn said.