A union official who allegedly threatened to have workers thrown off Perth construction sites if they refused to participate in strike action is among 18 union officials around the country who have been publicly named by the regulator for industrial relations in the Australian building industry as not having the right to enter work sites.
In its latest attempt to crack down on union militancy, Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) has created a public register of the officials from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and other unions who do not hold valid Right-of-Entry permits, some of whom have a history of trying to enter construction sites nonetheless.
The register, contained on FWBC’s NO PERMIT LIST on its web site, lists 15 officials from the CFMEU, two from the Electrical Trades Union and one from the Building Labourers Federation in Queensland.
Included is CFMEU WA branch assistant secretary Joe McDonald, who was fined $30,500 and banned form a site for three years after he was found in the Federal Court last month to have threatened to have workers thrown off ‘every construction site you’re on in Perth’ if they refused to participate in a strike at a Multiplex site, blocked access to the Mundaring Water Treatment Plant and at one stage held an employee by the neck and raised his fist to them.
Also on the list is Victorian CFMEU boss John Setka, who was recently forced to deny he received free home renovation materials as part of a deal to ensure a roofing contractor would not experience any delays.
“This is a list of people who do not have a valid Right of Entry permit, some of them have a history of attempting to enter building sites without valid permits” FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said, adding that the list would form an essential tool for site managers across the nation in preventing unlawful entry and urging managers to know their rights and call the police if someone on the list comes onto sites uninvited and refuses to leave.
Hadgkiss said the Right of Entry had been a significant area of unlawful breaches, and that the regulator had recently launched proceedings against the CFMEU and five of its officials in the Federal Court after a physical confrontation at an Adelaide site and against a CFMEU official at a Sydney site who claimed to be Steve Irwin.
The latest developments follow an ‘unprecedented’ $1.25 million fine against the CFMEU over the Grocon blockade in Melbourne in 2012.