CFMEU, officials fined nearly $250,000 for unlawful conduct

Union, officials committed unlawful entry, verbal harassment of site managers

CFMEU, officials fined nearly $250,000 for unlawful conduct

The Construction, Forestry and Maritime Employees Union (CFMEU) and three of its officials have been fined with nearly $250,000 for unlawful conduct at a construction site in Adelaide in 2021.

The Federal Court fined the CFMEU a total of $213,840, according to the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), with three officials fined with the following amounts:

  • Wyatt Raymount - $18,900
  • Travis Brook - $7,200
  • Desmond Savage - $7,600

Raymount and Brook's offences took place in August 2021 when they entered an exclusion zone at the Yatala Labour Prison upgrade project at Northfield in Adelaide.

According to the FWO, Raymount also made abusive statements and swore at the representatives of the site operator on August 30 and September 2 in 2021.

Justice Patrick O'Sullivan condemned as "irresponsible" Raymount and Brook's entry to the construction site's exclusion zone.

According to O'Sullivan, it shows a "complete disregard" for the safety of others workers in the area who may have been distracted from their work because of the unauthorised and unexpected entry into the exclusion zone of others.

The justice also said Raymount's remarks to the representatives of the site operator as "direct, forceful, and personal verbal abuse."

Savage's unlawful conduct

Savage's violation also took place at the same construction site when he threatened a site safety manager saying: "The more you call your [ABCC] mates, the more I'll come down on you."

O'Sullivan found that Savage engaged "physically threatening behaviour" that was "intended to intimidate" and could "only be described as thuggish," according to the FWO.

Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth said the penalties affirm the severity of breaching laws for permit holders.

"There is no place for threatening behaviour, adverse action, or improper conduct by permit holders on any worksite," Booth said in a statement.

"Improving compliance across the building and construction industry is a priority for the Fair Work Ombudsman, and we will investigate reports of non-compliance and hold to account those who act outside the law."

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