The Federal Court has penalised the CFMMEU and three construction division WA branch officials $180,000 for organising a half-day strike in 2018 over redundancy pay for Perth Airport rail link workers, 39 of whom also copped $4000 fines.
While union members tend to drive decisions to apply for pre-strike ballot orders and take protected action, the voting itself is less democratic, according to a book exploring how the regulatory environment can compromise democratic processes.
The Federal Court has doused the construction watchdog's pursuit of one of the CFMMEU's national leaders for allegedly organising an illegal strike, finding construction workers were entitled to pass more than two showery days in a "smoko shed" under the award's inclement weather provisions.
In a significant judgment closely examining the limits of "industrial activity", a full Federal Court led by Chief Justice James Allsop has overturned penalties imposed on two CFMMEU officials for leading a walk-out from a building site that had no separate toilet for a female worker.
The ABCC is investigating stoppages at five Sydney building projects overseen by two builders ahead of possible protected industrial action ballots by members of the CFMMEU, which is pursuing a new pattern agreement.