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Master Builders SA
June 2018
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Federal Court imposes personal payment order on CFMMEU official
Federal Court imposes personal payment order on CFMMEU official
In an important decision, a Full Federal Court has ordered a CFMMEU official (Joseph Myles) to personally pay a fine of $19,500 for his role in an unlawful blockade at a construction site in Melbourne in 2013. Mr Myles organised the blockade, which involved the use of numerous vehicles and individuals to prevent a critical concrete pour. The blockade was implemented as a means of coercing the head contractor to agree to have a CFMMEU delegate on the site. Mr Myles also threatened the site superintendent with “war” if his demand was not met.

The decision follows a High Court ruling in February this year, which held that the Federal Court did have the ability to impose personal payment orders on union officials, relating to breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009.  The decision means that the CFMMEU official must pay the fine personally, instead of it being paid by the union on his behalf.

The Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC), Stephen McBurney, welcomed the decision and said that: “The Full Federal Court’s decision makes clear to all union officials that when you break the law, you can no longer rely upon union members to pick up the tab…(the decisions of the High Court and Full Court) now clears the way for personal payment orders to be sought in appropriate cases currently before the Courts.”

In addition to imposing the personal payment order on Mr Myles, the Full Federal Court almost doubled the fine originally imposed on the CFMMEU for its role in the breaches, to $111,000.

Master Builders SA is hopeful that the practice of the ABCC seeking, and the Courts agreeing to impose, personal payment orders on union officials will act as a deterrent for unlawful union behaviour in the construction industry. Officials will no longer be able to rely on significant CFMMEU funds to pay fines that are imposed on them as individuals.
Updated wage rates
New wage rates apply from 1 July 2018. Log in to the members portal for more information.
Cartledge resigns
The Advertiser has reported that CFMMEU State Secretary Aaron Cartledge has resigned, with a supporter claiming he was "pushed".

Mr Cartledge was with the union for 19 years, including six as state secretary.

Under his leadership, the union and delegates were fined more than $1 million in Federal Court-imposed fines after they were found guilty of illegally entering building sites.

It was reported that national assistant secretary Andrew Sutherland - a Queensland official - has assumed control of the SA branch.
Members legal advice service
Master Builders SA is pleased to offer members a free face-to-face initial legal advice service for construction law matters. This service is provided by experts from leading South Australian construction law firm Fenwick Elliott Grace.

Members can seek advice in respect of a number of issues including contracts, disputes, industry specific matters, tenders and security of payment.

This service is available on the first Monday of each month at Master Builder SA, Level 1, 47 South Terrace Adelaide.

Contact the Industrial Relations Team on 8211 7466 to book your 20 minute session
Enterprise Agreements
It is important for businesses to ensure that they are covered by enterprise agreements that are current. If you don't have a current enterprise agreement in place, contact the Industrial Relations Team on 8211 7466. We can assist with preparing new agreements and reviewing and updating existing agreements.
Federal Court: CFMMEU senior leadership condoned lawbreaking; $142,000 penalty imposed
The Federal Court imposed total penalties of $142,000 on the CFMMEU and three of its officials for taking coercive action at a Carlton building site in March 2015 on the basis that senior CFMMEU leadership condoned the contravening conduct.

Three CFMMEU officers admitted that they stopped critical works and threatened subcontractors at the Cardigan Street site. The Court ordered the CFMMEU to pay $120,000, Theo Theodorou $8,500, Rob Graauwmans $7,500 and Izmar Miftari $6,000.

For more information, click here.

Full Court closes entry laws loophole
A Full Federal Court has upheld the ABCC's challenge to a finding that two CFMMEU officials who intentionally disregarded requests to show entry permits did not breach the Fair Work Act's entry restrictions, because they were not seeking to exercise their lawful rights.

Chief Justice James Allsop and Justices Richard Tracey and Richard White have remitted to Federal Court Justice Mordy Bromberg an ABCC application for penalties against the CFMMEU and two officials over five unlawful entries in 2014, which he dismissed in July.

Justice Bromberg found at the time that construction and general division Victorian branch organisers Stephen Long and Drew MacDonald had purposely defied a new policy imposed by building contractor Qanstruct (Aust) Pty Ltd to only allow entry once notice and permits had been provided.

Finding no contravention of the prohibition on permit-holders hindering and obstruction under s500 of the Fair Work Act, making misrepresentations under s503 of protections of workplace rights under s340, Justice Bromberg dismissed the application.
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