FWBC has filed legal proceedings in the Adelaide Federal Court alleging that the CFMEU, its SA Secretary Aaron Cartledge and Assistant Secretary Michael McDermott threatened to take industrial action at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital project.
On 22 November 2013, Mr Cartledge and Mr McDermott attended a meeting at the Project organised by Safework SA.
During the meeting, FWBC alleges that Mr Cartledge and Mr McDermott threatened to organise industrial action at the Project, if the Head Contractor sought to enforce a Fair Work Commission order from September 2013 that required employees on the Project to not take industrial action.
During the meeting it is alleged that Mr McDermott threatened “if you try anything there will be Armageddon”. It is alleged Mr Cartledge threatened “all hell will break loose and we will take this national” if the Head Contractor took steps to enforce the order.
FWBC alleges that these threats contravene the Fair Work Act because they were intended to coerce the contractors to not enforce their workplace rights.
FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said people and businesses should be free to operate in the building and construction industry without being threatened if they consider enforcing their legal workplace rights.
“Employers who obtain orders from the Fair Work Commission should be able to rely on them and not be subject to threats and intimidation,” he said.
“Threats to use strength in numbers to unlawfully shut down sites have no place in the building and construction industry. FWBC will not shy away from ensuring the rule of law prevails on building sites.”
The maximum penalties available to the court in this case are $10,200 for an individual and $51,000 for a corporation, including a union.