Ban on thuggery overturned

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has overturned a decision which took into account a union official’s previous conduct when issuing a right-of-entry permit.

The original decision found a particular branch of the CFMEU had normalised breaches of the law, and found that new applicants from that branch should have a higher standard set to show they are fit and proper people for the purposes of gaining their right-of-entry permit.

However, a Commission Full Bench dismissed the ruling, finding it was an error.

Master Builders Australia Chief Executive Officer Wilhelm Harnisch said the decision risks greenlighting illegal behaviour.

“Master Builders are dismayed that the Commission has overturned its own previous ruling that took account of a union’s previous conduct when issuing its officials with permits to enter workplaces,” he said.

“The decision highlights once again how current industrial laws are failing to ensure construction sites are free from the bullying, thuggery, coercion and stand over tactics of the building unions.

“This is why the ABCC must be re-established and why Master Builders strongly supports the Government’s proposed Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) because it will hold industrial organisations such as the building unions to a higher standard of behaviour.

“Master Builders also continues to call for a stricter fit and proper person test recommended by the Heydon Royal Commission to ensure that union officials with a track record of unlawfulness and thuggery would be kept off building sites.”

The full release can be downloaded here.