The Federal Court has handed down penalties that total $108,875 against the CFMMEU and a group of its officials, after finding they bullied and threatened a small business into signing a union deal. Included in this fine was a $9000 ‘personal payment order’ against one official who the Court found has a history of repeatedly breaking industrial laws.
Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said, “this is the second judgment handed down by a Court in less than seven days that shows how the CFMMEU treats small businesses – it’s the union way – or the highway,”
In handing down this decision, the Court found a group of CFMEU officials approached subcontractors at the Syme Library and Community Centre in Carlton, Victoria.
The subcontractor was told ‘you work in the city so you have to have an enterprise agreement and you should sign this now’. The head contractor on the site then pressured the subcontractor further, saying that if the subcontractor ‘did not sign the enterprise agreement with the CFMEU it would get other employees that are covered by an enterprise agreement to finish the job’ and then charge the subcontractor the extra costs.
The subcontractor was ultimately kicked off the site for not signing the union deal.
“These are clearly not isolated incidents and are not limited to just one ‘bad egg’ in the building union,” Denita Wawn said.
“This is yet more evidence that fines and penalties are not enough to convince building unions to change their ways or to protect the small businesses and sub-contractors in our industry. This is why we need the Parliament to pass the Ensuring Integrity laws as soon as possible,” she said.
“Only when these laws pass might building unions see these fines as more than just ‘the cost of doing business and be held accountable for their actions. Bullies and thugs should not be in charge of unions,” Denita Wawn said.