The federal court on September 1, 2017 found the management of a Boral concreting subsidiary, De Martin and Gasparini, acted illegally in threatening to make its workers redundant because they didn’t have an agreement that was Code compliant.
According to reports the court found the company had taken an adverse action against its workers and had contravened the Fair Work Act.
The judge found that statements made by De Martin and Gasparini managers to its workforce when this decision was announced were intimidatory, threatening and were intended to terminate the workforce.
The CFMEU says the judge was scathing of De Martin and Gasparini managers in his decision, saying he was not satisfied that they gave a full and accurate account of what they told the workers, nor did they provide credible or reliable explanations for their decisions.
The CFMEU national construction secretary Dave Noonan said the decision was a result of the chaos being caused by the Turnbull Government’s unfair and unnecessary Building Code.
“We welcome the Court’s decision, which vindicates our members’ right to have a say in their agreement.
“Our members were put under enormous pressure as a result of the company’s actions. Their job security was threatened, causing them stress, anxiety and fear.
“At the heart of this is Malcolm Turnbull’s Building Code. It’s unfair, it’s unnecessary and it’s causing serious disruption to the industry,” said Noonan.
In late June 2017, the CFMEU say De Martin and Gasparini threatened more than 100 workers with redundancy before August 31 2017, after they last week voted down EBA changes that would strip away conditions and pave the way for casualisation of their workforce.
“The changes would have removed employees’ right to four day weekends six times a year at public holiday times – an important condition for managing fatigue in an industry characterised by long hours and physical labour,” said Noonan.
“It would also prevent restrictions on the use of contractors and casual labour hire workers, reducing the security of employment for construction workers.”
Image sourced from Flickr cc: Rae Allen