CFMEU hit with $242k fine in court action
THE militant CFMEU and two of its officials have been fined close to $250,000 for disrupting concrete pours at Footscray Station, in the latest court action against the union.
The Federal Court today hit the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union with the $200,000 penalty over the 2014 incidents.
The court also fined officials Joe Myles and Drew MacDonald $32,000 and $10,000 respectively.
It found that the two officials, and by association the union, broke the law by blocking concrete trucks attempting to work at Footscray Station as part of the Regional Rail Link project.
Justice Richard Tracey also ruled that Mr Myles and Mr MacDonald were "arrogant and dismissive" when they refused to leave areas ruled out-of-bounds for safety reasons.
The Australian Building and Construction Commissioner told the court that CFMEU had contravened industrial legislation more than 100 times between 1999 and 2014.
Those contraventions have seen the union slammed with millions of dollars in fines.
"Despite this knowledge the contravening conduct has continued," Justice Tracey said.
"At no point has the CFMEU expressed any remorse for the misconduct of its officials.
"Nor has it undertaken to take any steps to ensure that there will be no repetition of the contravening conduct."
Australian Building and Construction acting commissioner Cathy Cato said it was "entirely unacceptable" to abuse right of entry laws at the cost of business.
"A permit holder must comply with site safety requirements the same as any other visitor to a site," Ms Cato said.
"The unlawful conduct in this case not only put the officials and others on site at risk but resulted in a significant disruption to an important taxpayer-funded project."