CFMEU, organiser fined $38K for unlawful industrial action

According to the Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner, the incident occurred at 11:00am on September 26, 2006, when CFMEU organiser Adrian McLoughlin called an unauthorised stop-work meeting of workers at the Yarra Arts Complex in Southbank, Melbourne. In handing down his judgment, Federal Magistrate Turner said McLoughlin was aware that when he called the meeting during working hours, the employees would be docked four hours pay and would therefore be likely to walk off the site for the remainder of the day. “The court accepts that McLoughlin chose to conduct the meeting during working hours so as to cause maximum disruption,” Turner said. “The breach by him was deliberate.”The CFMEU was penalised $27,500. A penalty of $11,000 was imposed on McLoughlin, with half suspended for two years.The ABCC said the workers were employed by Bovis Lend Lease, Sergi Group, Diso Constructions and W&M Excavations.The majority of employees who attended the meeting failed to return to work for the rest of the day, the ABCC said, and McLoughlin and the CFMEU admitted to contravening section 38 of the Building Industry Improvement Act by taking unlawful industrial action.“This was a significant Melbourne construction project. Over 80 per cent of employees at the site walked off the job,” ABCC commissioner John Lloyd said. “Unlawful behaviour of this nature adversely affects all building industry participants on a site, not just the contractors involved.”

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