The High Court has today unanimously ruled that judges can take into account the CFMMEU's history of contraventions when assessing fines for breaches of industrial laws, clearing the way for the ABCC to seek maximum penalties for relatively minor infractions.
Provisional wage review timetable approved; Secure jobs inquiry queries witness treatment; New FWC website to launch this weekend; Permit suspended after underwhelming case; Productivity Inquiry gets underway; Labour Hire Authority thwarts "phoenixing"; and Feedback sought on online hearings.
A FWC full bench has warned the ABCC it is a "misuse" of power to raise appeal grounds contrary to its initial position, while rejecting the construction watchdog's claim the tribunal must consider a need for general deterrence when deciding whether to suspend or revoke entry permits.
A court has today imposed fines of 90% of the maximum on the "rogue" construction union and 80% on its Queensland leader for failing to provide 24 hours notice before officials entered a construction site for bargaining discussions with workers, after the head contractor insisted they be held off-site.
A Federal Court judge has accepted that the CFMMEU's offer to foot the bill for external training of its officials amounted to exhibiting enough contrition to keep a lid on penalties for entry breaches.
The Federal Court has criticised the ABCC's "misrepresentation" of evidence in pleadings and a media release, concluding the watchdog bore some responsibility for a subsequent report in a national newspaper that wrongly stated that a CFMMEU organiser made a "throat-slitting" gesture to a truck driver.
The FWC has issued a new permit to a CFMMEU organiser who asserted that a "no ticket, no start" policy applied on a Queensland construction site, while it has rejected ABCC Commissioner Steve McBurney's bid to "impugn" training provided by former tribunal member Jeff Lawrence.
A FWC full bench has upheld as "legally rational and reasonably available" a finding that CFMMEU construction and general division WA branch organiser Walter "Vinnie" Molina is not a fit and proper person to hold an entry permit.
The CFMMEU's engagement of a former FWC presidential member to coach its officials has paid dividends after the Federal Court reduced an organiser's fines after considering his evidence the training had "helped me with the emotional side of the job".
The FWC has chosen not to withdraw an entry permit from a CFMMEU organiser fined $4500 for belittling and bullying conduct but warned the "well from which he drank" by expressing contrition and offering assurances "will likely have run dry" if he returns.