The building industry watchdog has launched legal action against the construction union, alleging three representatives illegally blocked access to two Melbourne building sites.

In its first unlawful picketing claim under tougher Turnbull government legislation, the Australian Building and Construction Commission claims three CFMMEU representatives picketed the NewCold sites in May 2017.

The ABCC launched Federal Court action on Tuesday against the union and representatives John Perkovic, Kane Pearson and Mario Raspudic, claiming they breached unlawful picketing laws.

It’s alleged the CFMMEU trio prevented staff and subcontractors from entering Dutch cold storage company NewCold’s sites on May 8 last year by parking cars across two entrances.

The maximum penalty for a breach is $210,000 for organisations and $42,000 for individuals.

The watchdog claims Mr Perkovic and others blocked access to NewCold1 by parking a 4WD across the entrance gate early in the morning.

Mr Pearson and Mr Raspudic allegedly blocked the driveway of NewCold1 with another car and stopped concrete trucks and a potential customer from entering.

It’s alleged Mr Perkovic told a project manager it was an RDO and no work permit had been approved by the union that day.

The ABCC claims the manager told Mr Perkovic he was trespassing but he refused and later said: “Piss off, we’re here, we’re staying.”

The Federal Court claim alleges the union breached unlawful picketing provisions under 2016 building industry legislation.

By Rick Goodman