Federal Court fines CFMMEU for targeting crane companies

Highlights

  • The Australian construction union has been fined more than half a million dollars for an industrial campaign.
  • Two union officers Holl and Hobson were also fined along with CFMMEU. 

The Australian Federal Court has charged a penalty of AU$554,600 against the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union’s (CFMMEU) New South Wales (NSW) branch for forcing Newcastle company Wheeler Cranes to sign a union deal through blockades and boycotts.

With the Federal Court’s penalty on the industrial campaign, the union will have to pay a fine of more than AU$2 million. In addition, CMFEU’s maritime division has been ordered to pay around more than AU$2.2 million in damages for illegal industrial action at Sydney’s ports. 

The Federal Court informed that two of the CFMEU NSW officials – Justin Hobson and Brendan Holl sought to remove the Wheeler Cranes from construction projects in October 2018 as it didn’t have the union agreement. However, as per media reports, Justice Wendy Abraham said the conduct was “deliberate, premeditated, co-ordinated, and for clearly prohibited purposes”.

The act was intended to exert coercive pressure against the third parties, ultimately directed at Wheelers Cranes. Holl and others blocked the access to the Kooragang Coal Terminal, informing the site managers that union branded protestors would continue to protest in the area until the company’s crane was removed from the area. As a result, Abraham fined the association AU$460,000 and Holl (AU$61,600) and Hobson (AU$33,000).

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