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Workers forced to join union – more evidence the ABCC is needed to stop the bullying on construction sites


Another Federal Court decision provides further evidence why the ABCC must be retained to stop bullying on construction sites.

The latest case has resulted in penalties against the CFMMEU and two shop stewards totalling $78,000 – this time for coercing a worker to pay union fees on two separate sites in the Melbourne CBD.

In Court, two CFMMEU officials both admitted to coercing a worker (a painting subcontractor) to join the union before being allowed to work on a construction site. In handing down the judgment, Justice O’Callaghan said:

“Contraventions of the FW Act involving coercive conduct are particularly serious… In arriving at an appropriate penalty for the CFMMEU, I take into account its prior history, its apparent willingness to contravene the FW Act in a serious way to impose its will, and the need for deterrence of an organisation of its size and financial resources.”

Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said, “at the same time building unions are campaigning to abolish the ABCC, they are out there, on the ground, breaking the Fair Work Act by bullying workers and small business”.

Unions would be outraged if a business was caught threatening to sack a worker for being a member, but apparently it’s OK to deny workers the right to earn a wage just because they aren’t union members,” she said

Labor must reverse its decision to abolish the ABCC and denounce the thuggish and illegal behaviour of unions who regularly break the law every day,” Denita Wawn said.

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