The Maritime Union of Australia has been stung with a $560,000 court order after its officials bullied an employer to maintain a “closed shop” that barred non-unionised workers from employment.
Federal Court judge John Gilmour also ordered the employer, Skilled Offshore (Australia), to pay $241,000 to a Perth couple, Bruce and Lynne Love, over its role in blocking them from working in 2009.
Although the couple were willing to join the union, their membership applications were blocked by the MUA’s West Australian secretary, Chris Cain, the court found.
Employment Minister Eric Abetz said the “record payout” was a lesson to employers who “either willingly or through intimidation engage in this type of illegal behaviour in cahoots with a union”.
Justice Gilmour found the MUA’s “blatant use of illegitimate industrial action power” was designed to “bully” the company into rejecting the Loves.
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