One does not have to believe everything that Grollo says in the article below to see what is wrong with existing regulatory arrangements and the need for fundamental changes. This is not simply a case of “morally bankrupt” action by the CFMEU: it is a case of failure by government to provide a legal system which protects businesses from disruptive activity.
First, CFMEU was able to breach “various workplace laws” without Fair Work Australia taking action to deal with it.
Second, Grollo had to go to the Victorian Supreme Court for help. This is similar to what was tried during the waterfront dispute (my recollection is that the Supreme Ct “lost” because of a judge on the Federal Ct who sympathised with unions). Although Grollo does not mention it, I think the CFMEU has not yet paid the quite large fine for contempt of court.
Third, as on other occasions, the Victorian police were ineffective except in allowing access to the site for workers prepared to risk CFMEU revenge.
Fourth, while Grollo did defy the CFMEU, the current “system” of regulation clearly exposes other smaller companies and contractors to forced compliance with union bullying.
Des Moore is a member of the HR Nicholls Society Board of Management
Why the CFMEU is Morally Bankrupt, by Daniel Grollo:
Twelve years ago, Grocon took a public stand against the sort of ugly, lawless behaviour we’ve been reading about these past weeks…
What has unfolded for Grocon since is a story too complex and unsavoury to do justice to here – a relentless campaign of intimidation and fabricated “industrial” issues from the Victorian CFMEU to try to bring us to our knees. Or as the union’s secretary so brazenly put it, “We’ll just smash ’em.”
Our industry colleagues saw what happens when you confront this and, with the exception of a handful of our suppliers and subcontractors, most weighed the cost and felt unable to take the stand we did.
Thankfully, a royal commissioner will now put the construction industry under the microscope in a much broader inquiry into graft and corruption. No one must be immune from his scrutiny.
In the meantime, I would like to give you a taste of the behaviour at the heart of the CFMEU’s “business model” they have been so determined to maintain.
Click HERE to read the rest of this must-read piece!