Ahead of Federal Court hearings into ABCC claims that two CFMMEU officials breached entry laws at a Melbourne freeway project in 2017, the union is suing the head contractor and its IR manager for obstructing their efforts to investigate suspected safety breaches.
In what is believed to be an Australian-first, the Victorian CFMMEU is seeking penalties of more than $4 million against four police officers and the civil construction giant McConnell Dowell for allegedly stopping union safety officials from inspecting "high-risk work" at a level-crossing removal project.
A CFMMEU official has retained his entry permit despite being heavily fined for his part in a heated worksite stoush, the FWC finding he was acting on "genuine but mistaken" legal advice about his rights.
In a significant blow to ABCC attempts to rein in the behaviour of union officials by holding them personally liable for breach fines, the Federal Court has today ruled that an offender's past record must be taken into account before imposing such conditions.
A union's liability for entry breaches by its officials has been underlined by a court hitting the CFMEU with a $200,000 fine for disrupting a concrete pour on a major rail project over alleged safety concerns.
The High Court has refused to grant special leave to appeal a full Federal Court finding that a CFMEU official needed a federal entry permit to assist a health and safety representative when he was invited onto a construction site under Victorian OHS laws.
The High Court will next Friday hear special leave applications from WorkSafe Victoria and a CFMEU official who are challenging a full Federal Court finding that he needed a federal entry permit to assist a health and safety representative when invited onto a construction site.