Dodgy Unionist

Aussie unions are shockers but none more so than the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. Their boss is a shocker:

Notorious WA union boss Joe McDonald has again been fined for bullying workers at a construction site.

The latest penalty against Mr McDonald and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union takes the total amount of fines against the pair to more than $1 million since 2005, according to Fair Work Building and Construction.

In the latest case, Mr McDonald, the CFMEU WA assistant secretary, told workers at the Herdsman Business Park in Perth’s west in February 2008 that they must be a member of the union or they could “f**king go and find somewhere else to work”, the Federal Magistrates Court heard.

There was no obligation for workers on the site to be union members.

During a meeting with the employees of various subcontractors, Mr McDonald said he would close down the site because there were not enough amenities or toilets and the scaffolding was not safe.

Two other CFMEU officers also instructed workers to stop work and leave the site.

All but four did for the rest of the day.

The court heard that shortly after, the site manager told Mr McDonald he had arranged for additional toilets for the site, but Mr Donald responded “I don’t care, the men aren’t going back to work”.

Mr McDonald was found guilty of unlawful industrial action and making false and misleading statements about workers’ requirements to join the union and fined $6380.

The union was fined $28,600 plus $15,000 in costs to be paid to FWBC.

Mr McDonald and the CFMEU have been embroiled in numerous legal cases relating to bullying of workers at WA construction sites.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.