ABC Commissioner John Lloyd says the penalties are a reminder that illegal conduct with regards to agreement making will not be tolerated:
‘It is unacceptable to unlawfully pressure another person when it comes to agreement making. The ABCC will remain vigilant about prosecuting those who are found to have broken the law.
It is unfortunate that a major project in regional Australia experienced so many costly incidents of unlawful conduct.
Penalties totalling $105,000 for unlawful conduct at this project emphasise the serious consequences of choosing to break the law.’
In all five proceedings a settlement between the ABCC and the respondents resulted in agreed penalty amounts being handed down. The terms of settlement also require that the three union representatives involved in the contraventions participate in an education program about workplace relations laws in the building and construction industry.
On 25 August the Federal Magistrates’ Court ruled on penalties totally $75,000 under the terms of a settlement between the ABCC and the AWU, CEPU, AMWU and their representatives for numerous unlawful strikes at the project between July 2007 and February 2008 [ABCC Media Statement: Disruptions at Maryvale Pulp Mill result in $75,000 penalties].