Union sacks two whistleblowers, faces unfair dismissal fight

by Ben Abbott16 Jul 2015
The CFMEU has sacked two whistleblowers who went public about union links to organised crime, saying theirs was the ‘gross misbehavior’.
Brian Miller and Andrew Quirk spoke to the ABC’s 7:30 last year with claims that organised crime had corrupted the very heart of the CFMEU.
Both Miller and Quirk were long-serving NSW branch officials, who said they had tried other internal avenues before deciding to speak to media.
The ABC’s 7:30 last night disclosed that Miler and Quirk had been sent letters on April 20 this year sacking them for their ‘gross misbehavior’.
"Mr Quirk appeared on the ABC 7.30 program without authorisation of the union and purported to speak as a union officer about matters relating to the union," the letter to Andrew Quirk read, according to the ABC.
"During that appearance he made comments which were false and/or adverse to the union.”
A written statement obtained by the ABC from a CFMEU spokesperson reiterated that the two men were removed due to ‘gross misconduct’.
"They were provided with natural justice in that [dismissal] process," the ABC reported the spokesperson said.
"They have rights to appeal under the rules of the union, which they have chosen not to exercise.”
The ABC’s 7:30 also revealed last night that Quirk and Miller had commenced legal proceedings against the union alleging unfair dismissal.
In 2014, Quirk was interviewed on 7:30, soberly delivering a laundry list of allegations against the CFMEU that he had previously raised internally.
"There have been reports of corruption, association with murderers, association with gangsters, association with terrorists, money being paid to union officials, union officials intimidating other union officials, union officials being forced out of their jobs and their careers, and the silence is deafening.”
Last night’s report quoted fellow union whistleblower Brian Fitzpatrick, saying that Quirk had become “a very worried man” since his dismissal.
“He’s worried about his safety, his family’s safety, it’s been hard for him keep the battle up, but he has,” Fitzpatrick told 7:30.
The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption resumed its hearings into the CFMEU yesterday.
The CFMEU denies all allegations of corruption against it.


Most Read