Builders face union in courts

TWO Western Australian builders appear to be in the sights of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union after a number of prosecutions against the employee organisation failed.

Sizer Builders, which tried unsuccessfully to have CFMEU assistant secretary Joe McDonald’s State right-of-entry permit revoked in the WA Industrial Relations Commission, is facing 11 prosecutions in the Industrial Court relating to freedom of association and right of entry breaches.

The union has also made complaints about BGC to the Building Industry and Special Projects Inspectorate.

Sizer Builders director Daren Dean said it seemed the union was seeking a square up.

“After their win over Pindan they are back-tracking over the past 12 months for all the times I’ve taken them to the commission and lost for one reason or another,” he said.

BGC Construction general manager Gerry Forde said it was “tit for tat”.

“They’ve gone to BISPI with their complaints as we’ve gone to BISPI with our complaints,” he said.

The latest actions have come as the union successfully defended the recent court action against Mr McDonald and other officials.

BGC had attempted to take a violence restraining order out against Mr McDonald and organiser Cam McCullough in relation to a dispute at an East Perth building site.

The company had successfully obtained an interim VRO but the courts refused to make that permanent.

Mr McDonald appears to be teflon-coated in the eyes of the judiciary. After being fined $1,000 last year in relation to a dispute at the WACA Ground, he has successfully beaten three prosecutions in relation to disputes at a Universal Constructions site in Fremantle, a Pindan Construction site and the BGC VRO attempt.

CFMEU solicitor Tom Dixon denied that the union was seeking payback for court actions the builders had brought against it.

He said the complaints the union was progressing against the builders were legitimate and related to real issues faced by its members.

“Sizer has alleged that we had breached our rules because they call for any disputes to be resolved through litigation,” Mr Dixon said.

“I think it would be ironic if they thought we were seeking some sort of payback.”

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