Union Official Banned after Confrontation

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
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A construction union official who was filmed abusing a building site inspector during an aggressive confrontation has lost the right to enter worksites until 2017.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union Victorian organiser John Perkovic had his federal right of entry permit revoked by the Fair Work Commission.

The ban followed a May 2014 clash at the Ibis Hotel construction site in Adelaide in which Mr Perkovic abused Fair Work Building and Construction inspector Seamus Flynn, calling him “a f***ing piece of s***” and a “f***ing coward”.

Video of the confrontation, recorded by Mr Flynn’s colleague, was played at the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption in 2014.

The Fair Work Commission said Mr Perkovic lacked contrition or remorse over his conduct, which involved “a serious and ugly confrontation”.

Mr Perkovic proceeded to use “abusive language and physical menace” in an attempt to “intimidate, bully and belittle” the inspector.

Mr Perkovic is one of 12 CFMEU officials previously fined a total of $357,600 in two Federal Court cases related to the unlawful conduct on Adelaide building sites.

CFMEU South Australia state secretary Aaron Cartledge said SA organisers tried to work constructively with building companies.

But he said the federal government Fair Work Building and Construction agency, which applied for Mr Perkovic’s ban, was trying to “outlaw” unions engaging in good working relationships by forcing builders to stick to the letter of the law in respect to right of entry.

“It’s put a lot more animosity into relationships that didn’t need to be there,” Mr Cartledge said.

“That’s not constructive for a good working relationship.”

FWBC director Nigel Hadgkiss said it wasn’t difficult for union officials to comply with right of entry provisions.

“There is no excuse for behaviour like Mr Perkovic’s,” he said.

“Holding a right of entry permit is a privilege, if you abuse that privilege you cannot expect to maintain it.”


By Tim Dornin
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