Australia's Largest Construction Union Has Been Fined $1.25 Million Over Protests

Construction workers march past the Myer Emporium site during the Grocon Rally and March on April 30, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) organised the protest calling for building giant Grocon to improve its safety standards. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union has been fined $1.25 million for criminal contempt by the Supreme Court for its role in a stop-work action at Grocon’s Emporium project in central Melbourne in 2012.

An industrial dispute between Grocon and the CMFEU saw work halted at the site, with mounted police called in. The disagreement was over the appointment of shop stewards, and working conditions according to Fairfax Media.

Damages are yet to be determined. According to News Corp Australia, the union will potentially have to pay Grocon’s court costs, which could amount to as much as $1 million.

The CMFEU has already been fined $1 million for its role in a separate industrial dispute in 2009, and the penalty — one of the largest ever given to a union — comes against the backdrop of a looming Royal Commission into union corruption in the construction sector.

There’s more here.

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