CONTEMPT: Whilst this comment is about blatant malfeasance of the CFMEU, its “utter disregard . . . for Australian law” impacts small businesses engaged on building sites “controlled” by the CFMEU that urgently needs to be brought to a halt.
The Australian, September 14, 2017 under the heading ‘CFMEU fined record $2.4m over blockade’, reported: “In finding that maximum penalties should be imposed on the CFMEU, Justice Flick said: “It is, with respect, not possible to envisage worse union behaviour. The prior imposition of penalties — some nearing the maximum — against the CFMEU has not deterred it from engaging in clearly unlawful industrial action.
“Indeed, the conduct for which the CFMEU assumes liability in the present proceeding shows a further and serious contempt for the law. “The CFMEU’s conduct exposes a cavalier disregard for the prior penalties imposed by this court and exposes the fact that such prior impositions of penalties have failed to act as a deterrent against further unlawful industrial action.”
“Senator Cash said the lawless strikes at one of the largest construction sites in the southern hemisphere involved more than 1000 workers and demonstrated the “utter disregard this militant union has for Australian law”.
Additionally, The Australian, September 5, 2017 under the heading: ‘CFMEU trying to ‘usurp Parliament’: judge’, reported: “A Federal Circuit Court judge has accused the construction union of trying to “usurp Parliament”, imposing $101,000 in penalties on the union and a Brisbane firm for discriminating against a company for not having a CFMEU agreement.
“In a strongly worded judgment, Judge Salvatore Vasta said “it beggars belief that the CFMEU believe that they can act in a manner where they are the ones who dictate who can or cannot work on a construction site’’. “The Parliament is the only entity that sets the law in this country and the Parliament is directly responsible to the people of this country,’’ he said.
“It seems that the CFMEU feel that they can usurp Parliament and that they can set the law in this country. There is no place for such an attitude in Australian society.” He said “it may be possible to imagine worse cases of discrimination and worse cases of the destruction of the freedom of association, but that is not the point”. “I cannot accept that this matter is not in the worst category,’’ he said.”
However, The Australian, September 15, 2017 reported: “ACTU president Ged Kearney has demanded Employment Minister Michaelia Cash resign from cabinet for not taking action against building watchdog Nigel Hadgkiss when she became aware of his alleged misconduct last year. . . Senator Cash said yesterday she became aware only at that time of allegations against Mr Hadgkiss and they were contested by him. Mr Hadgkiss filed a response in November to the CFMEU’s statement of claim, denying the allegations.
“The conduct was not illegal at the time;” she said. “It was on Tuesday that Mr Hadgkiss admitted to the breach. At that time, I became aware of the breach.”
The plot thickens