Coalition to strike amid Setka strife

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 13-Jun-19

Labor has been urged to support the federal government’s Ensuring ­Integrity Bill in the wake of the controversy surrounding Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & ­Energy Union official John Setka. Labor opposed the bill – which amongst other things would allow courts to disqualify union officials for repeated breaches of civil law – in the previous parliament. Setka has refused to stand down as the CFMMEU’s Victorian secretary in the wake of comments he allegedly made about domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, while Labor leader Anthony Albanese is seeking to have him expelled from the party.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION, UNITED VOICE

CFMEU’s election windfall

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 18 & 19 : 15-Apr-19

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union has been fined some $7.9m in total since 2016, due to legal action instigated by the Australian Building & Construction Commission. The CFMMEU will benefit significantly if Labor wins the federal election and pushes ahead with plans to scrap the ABCC. The militant union and its officials would face much lower financial penalties for breaches of the Fair Work Act, while Labor would also abolish the national construction code. Meanwhile, employers’ groups are not unduly concerned about a potential conflict of interest for shadow workplace relations minister Brendan O’Connor, whose brother is the national president of the CFMMEU.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE

ABCC cracks down on CFMEU right of entry

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 12-Nov-18

The Australian Building & Construction Commission is cracking down on Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union officials who try to exploit "right of entry" loopholes. One such official, Brendan Murphy, is facing thousands of dollars in fines after the Federal Court found that he had gained access to a construction site at a Victorian school by signing its guest registry. He refused to show his right of entry permit to the contractor’s site manager, and then stated that he was going to shut the site down over safety concerns. Federal Court Justice Debbie Mortimer said Murphy’s safety concerns were "contrived", and that he did not care about right of entry laws.

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

Union laws facing Senate stumbling block

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 19-Sep-18

The crossbenchers may determine the fate of the federal government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill, which will be put to the Senate on 19 September. Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick says the party may support the bill, although this would be conditional on certain amendments. Other independent senators are also still considering their stance on the bill, although Tim Storer has ruled out supporting it. He is particularly concerned about the provisions that allow union officials to be disqualified for misconduct, noting that the sanctions are tougher than those for company directors under the Corporations Act.

CORPORATES
CENTRE ALLIANCE, LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY, AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATIVES, UNITED AUSTRALIA PARTY, ONE NATION PARTY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Morrison bid to fast track union bill

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 17-Sep-18

The Federal Government will make a new push for the Senate to pass its Ensuring Integrity Bill, which was shelved earlier in 2018. Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has urged Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to support the bill, stressing that the proposed reforms are needed to protect workers and small businesses. Amongst other things, the bill would allow union officials to be disqualified for repeated breaches of civil law while it would become easier to deregister a union. The bill is supported by employer groups, but the ACTU has called for crossbenchers to vote against it.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

CFMMEU’s John Setka deletes tweet after Scott Morrison’s threat to abolish union

Original article by Fergus Hunter
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 4-Sep-18

Construction, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union official John Setka has deleted a tweet that had prompted Prime Minister Scott Morrison to threaten the CFFMEU with deregistration. The highly inappropriate tweet showed a picture of Setka’s children holding a poster with profanities on it that targeted the Australian Building & Construction Commission. Morrison said the tweet was "the straw that breaks the camel’s back", and that the CFMMEU has acted like a bunch of thugs under Setka. He called on Bill Shorten to sever Labor’s ties with the CFMMEU.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Funding cut setback for enforcing wage laws

Original article by Anna Patty
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 13 : 10-May-18

The May 2018 Budget has allocated $A110.009m in funding to the Fair Work Ombudsman in 2018-19, down from $A110.46m in 2017-18. However, the Registered Organisations Commission’s funding has been increased by $A8.1m. Labor’s workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor has criticised the Federal Government for providing additional funding for the "disgraced" ROC rather than addressing the issue of rampant wage theft. The University of Adelaide’s Professor Andrew Stewart has expressed similar concerns.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY, 7-ELEVEN STORES PTY LTD, DOMINO’S PIZZA ENTERPRISES LIMITED – ASX DMP, CALTEX AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX CTX

Watchdog vows to take stick to CFMEU officials over fines

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 5-Mar-18

The new head of the Australian Building & Construction Commission, Stephen McBurney, notes that 37 of the 41 investigations that are currently underway involve the militant Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union. McBurney says he is open to talks with CFMEU officials about complying with industrial relations laws, arguing that the ABCC budget would be better spent on education and prevention instead of legal action. However, he adds that the ABCC will seek to make union officials personally liable for fines in the wake of a court ruling which prohibits the CFMEU for paying fines on their behalf.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE, AUSTRALIAN CRIME COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. NATIONAL CRIME AUTHORITY, VICTORIA. OFFICE OF THE CHIEF EXAMINER

Cash fails in bid to have AWU raid subpoenas thrown out

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 21-Dec-17

The Federal Court has ruled that Employment Minister Michaelia Cash must provide the Australian Workers’ Union with access to documents relating to a police raid on its offices in October. The AWU had sought access to communications between Cash’s office and the Registered Organisations Commission, which had authorised the raids as part of its investigation into an AWU donation to activist group GetUp.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN

Frustrated judges put fine pedal to the metal for militant union

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 24-Oct-17

Industrial relations barrister Stuart Wood notes that judges have become much more willing to impose maximum penalties on the CFMEU for breaching workplace laws in recent years. He adds that only five years ago the $A2.4m fine imposed on the union by Justice Geoffrey Flick in September would have been much lower. The Federal Circuit Court’s Judge Salvatore Vasta also recently imposed the maximum penalty of $A306,000 for breaching workplace laws but said the fine would have been much higher if he had the scope to do so.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO TRADE UNION GOVERNANCE AND CORRUPTION, K&L GATES LLP