National

FWC orders end to strikes at Lend Lease sites

Monday, October 10, 2016, 5:00pm.  

The FWC has banned hundreds of subcontractor workers at six Lend Lease projects in Queensland from taking unlawful industrial action in support of protected strikes by two dozen of the construction giant's direct employees.

In a decision issued on Friday, Commissioner Jennifer Hunt accepted evidence from the company that about 450 subcontractors had stopped entering the six sites from September 28, when the direct employees began their protected action.

The company's witnesses told the Commission that subcontractor employee numbers dropped from 125 to as low as 43 at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital project in the week after the protected action began.

At the Yards Project in Fortitude Valley numbers dropped from 307 to zero, at the Kings Co-op Project it fell from 30 to zero, at James Cook University's The Science Place, it dropped from 120 to a minimum of 103, at the Growler Airborne Attack Facility Project from 80 to a low of 29 and at the Sunshine Plaza Redevelopment Project from 50 to 12.

The company told Commissioner Hunt the "orchestration" of the hundreds of employees taking coordinated action was no accident and was being organised by the CFMEU.

It was "unfathomable" that they had all decided of their own accord to not attend work, it said.

Commissioner Hunt accepted that the industrial action was being taken "in support of the protected action lawfully being taken by Lendlease employees".

She found that the union was "organising" the unlawful action, saying the subcontractor employees "did not all have a meeting of the minds at around 6.30am on a single day and decide that they individually did not wish to cross a CFMEU established picket line".

"The pattern of behaviour across all six sites is remarkably similar", she said.

Commissioner Hunt said the order would apply until December 31.

It applies to the union, its officers, delegates, employees and agents, plus subcontractor employees at the six sites.

Lendlease Building Pty Ltd T/A Lendlease Building v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union [2016] FWC 7198 (7 October 2016)

Order (6 October 2016)