Workers were allegedly told to join the union or be forced off the work site while constructing the boardwalk at East Shores.
Workers were allegedly told to join the union or be forced off the work site while constructing the boardwalk at East Shores.

CFMEU allegedly made threats at Gladstone work site

TWO CFMEU officers allegedly threatened to remove and ban non-unionised workers involved in the construction of the Gladstone Boardwalk project at East Shores, a court claim will allege.

In a statement of claim, Fair Work Building and Construction allege that Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union officers, Jody Moses and Gregg Churchman, breached the Fair Work Act when they allegedly told workers they would be removed and banned from the site because they were not CFMEU union members.

It's alleged the incident occurred on September 11, 2013 and according to Fair Work's (now ABCC) claim, Mr Moses and Mr Churchman told workers that no work would occur on that day unless the workers joined the union.

"Any of the (contractor) employees who do not join the union by lunchtime Friday 20 September won't be allowed on the Boardwalk Project or any other CFMEU site in Queensland," Fair Work's claim reads.

Workers were also allegedly told that CFMEU membership was compulsory for them to work on the project and that they were given five minutes to think about joining the union.

It's understood that after discussions, the workers were then given 48 hours to decide what they wanted to do.

FWBC director Nigel Hadgkiss said the alleged actions by CFMEU officials revealed their patent disregard for the workplace right of freedom of association.

Details of the alleged incident were also aired during the Liberal Party's Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.

"No worker should have to face these kinds of threats," Mr Hadgkiss said.

"In this case, CFMEU officials allegedly threatened workers' livelihoods in order to coerce them to join the union.

"These are not the actions of an organisation that puts the rights and needs of workers first."

The maximum penalties available to the Federal Circuit Court are $10,200 for an individual and $51,000 for a corporation per breach.

The matter has been listed for a three day hearing from April 11, 2017.


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