High Court ruling on unionists’ fines a win for common sense
Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Peter Katsambanis has welcomed yesterday’s High Court decision which will mean unions can no longer pay fines on behalf of militant union officials who break the law.
Mr Katsambanis said the ruling would be welcomed by the construction industry which would now hopefully see a marked reduction in the use of militant tactics by the CFMEU.
“Time and time again we have seen repeat behaviour from certain union officials who blatantly disregard the law by entering worksites under dubious claims, disrupting lawful business operations and even sometimes stopping all work, in attempts to blackmail their way to a decision.” Mr Katsambanis said.
“This has gone on for too long because the fines resulting from the illegal behaviour of these individuals were covered by the union, which simply considered them as a cost of doing business.
“Once the fines were paid from union member funds the militant tactics continued.
“Not anymore. This is a fair and just decision by the High Court of Australia which upholds the premise that all individuals should be held accountable for their own actions.”
Mr Katsambanis said early signs of a fragile recovery in the West Australian economy meant it was more important than ever to ensure that construction projects were not put at risk from illegal delays due to illegal union tactics.
“The importance of the building and construction industry in Western Australia cannot be understated,” Mr Katsambanis said.
“It currently employs approximately 130,000 people while contributing $22 billion to our State’s economy.