CFMEU slapped with $65m in penalties

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 24-Jul-19

The federal government has released data showing that the Construction, Forestry, Mining, Maritime & ­Energy Union has incurred about $65m worth of legal costs and court fines for breaching workplace laws since 2004. This includes court penalties totalling $28.6m in Victoria, with the bulk of these penalties having been incurred in cases involving controversial state secretary John Setka. The government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill will be put before the lower house on 24 July, and is aimed at making it easier to deregister unions and other registered organisations.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

At $200k, celebrity chef got off lightly

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 22-Jul-19

Attorney-General Christian Porter says that amongst other things, the federal government’s review of the industrial relations system will look at whether the penalties for underpaying wages are sufficient. He says many Australians would agree with his opinion that the $200,000 fine to be paid by celebrity chef George Calombaris was lenient. More than 500 employees at Calombaris’s restaurants were collectively underpaid some $7.8 million over six years. The ‘MasterChef’ judge says the majority have now received backpay.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Union fines hit $4m as boss put workers ‘in harm’s way’

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 7-Jun-19

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union has been fined $137,000 over the conduct of Richard Hassett, the head of its Tasmanian branch. The Federal Court ruled that he had unlawfully entered a Devonport building site and repeatedly attempted to disrupt the operation of a crane. Hassett was fined $22,000, while the CFMMEU has now been fined $4.1m in total for breaching workplace laws so far in 2018-19.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION

KPMG urges refund plan for black economy fines

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 3-Jan-19

KPMG’s submission to a Treasury review has proposed that individuals who have previously engaged in black economy activity could have part of their fine refunded if they have a proven track record of complying with tax laws. The firm suggested that individuals would be more likely to continue to comply with tax laws under such a system, and they could qualify for a refund after three years with a clean slate. The black economy is estimated to be worth up to $50bn a year.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Union beats $51k fine for shorts call

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 8 : 14-Nov-18

The Federal Circuit Court’s decision to fine the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s for failing to comply with a dress code for workers on a building site has been overturned on appeal. The CFMMEU was fined $51,000 over strike action after a project manager ordered construction workers to wear trousers and long-sleeved shirts at the Newcastle site. Union organiser Pomare Auimatagi was fined $7,500. The Federal Court has ruled that the fines were "manifestly excessive".

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA, JOHN HOLLAND PTY LTD

Fines a reminder of ACTU rally penalties

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 11-Oct-18

The Federal Court has fined 75 construction workers $1,400 apiece for engaging in unlawful industrial action in Perth in 2013. Stephen McBurney, the head of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, says the fines are a "timely reminder" of the consequences of breaching workplace laws. The ABCC recently warned that building workers who participate in upcoming union rallies without written approval from their employee could potentially be prosecuted.

CORPORATES
FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU, WORKPAC PTY LTD, SAS GROUP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS

ABCC warns of union rally fines

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 9-Oct-18

Work at building sites across Australia is likely to be disrupted by a series of protest rallies organised by the ACTU over the next month. However, the Australian Building & Construction Commission says building workers who participate in the rallies without written approval from their employee risk both having their pay docked and being prosecuted for unprotected industrial action. The penalty for such action is $42,00. Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker has also warned of the potential for legal action against unions and workers.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Suncorp kept misleading ads campaign

Original article by Michael Roddan, Ben Butler
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 21-Sep-18

The financial services royal commission has been told that Suncorp-owned insurer AAMI faced potential fines of up to $7.2m for misleading advertising in November 2017, but it was fined just $43,800 by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The radio ads promoted AAMI’s commitment to completely replace a policyholder’s home if it was destroyed, but failed to disclose that this was subject to a cost limit. AAMI’s in-force premium revenue from these policies was $426m for the year, providing a strong incentive to continue the ad campaign.

CORPORATES
SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED MOTOR INSURERS LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN SERVICE LIMITED, AAI LIMITED

Westpac hit with record fine on loans

Original article by Clancy Yeates
The Age – Page: 25 : 5-Sep-18

Westpac has been hit with a fine of $35 million after having admitted to breaching consumer credit protection laws. The breaches occurred between 2011 and 2015, when Westpac used an automated system to approve 10,500 home loans. In settling its case with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, which had been due to go before the Federal Court, Westpac agreed on 4 September that the loans should have been approved by a credit offer. ASIC had launched its case against Westpac over the loans in 2017.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Regulator predicts pain for CFMEU

Original article by Michael Pelly
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 33 : 31-Aug-18

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union was fined some $5.6m for breaching workplace laws in 2016-17, compared with just $1.8m in the previous financial year. Australian Building & Construction Commission head Stephen McBurney says the militant union could potentially face fines of more than $20m under the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act, which has significantly increased the maximum fines for both individuals and unions. The CFMMEU has been fined more than $1m for workplace breaches so far in 2018-19.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION