A Major Victory In The Federal Court

Published: 9 Apr 2020

The Federal Court this week dismissed an application by Michael O’Connor, National Secretary of the CFMEU's Manufacturing Division, to restrain our Branch from enrolling and representing floor layers, glaziers and cabinet makers who work on construction sites.

O’Connor commenced court action after hundreds of members resigned from his Manufacturing Division to join us. The case involved a dispute about the proper interpretation of the Union’s rules.

This week, the Federal Court ruled that our Branch is entitled to enrol and represent floor layers, glaziers and cabinet makers who work in or in connection with the construction industry.

"This decision confirms what we already believed: construction workers belong in the Construction Division," said Branch Secretary John Setka.

"Our division has fought for and achieved some of the best workplace entitlements in Australia. We look forward to representing and fighting for these members in the future.

"This decision is a victory for the members who have chosen to join the Construction Division in order to fight for the rights and entitlements of workers in the construction industry.

"If you work in construction but you’re not a member of the Construction Division of the CFMEU, we invite you to join our Division and work with us to build a safe industry that works for the workers.

"It is a shame that this matter had to be resolved in court. Matters such as these should be resolved within the Union having regard to the wishes of members.”

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Principal Lawyer Daniel Victory said that he was pleased that this Branch's construction of the rules had been upheld by the Court.

"We are also pleased that these workers will not be prevented from receiving all the benefits that come from being a member of the Construction Division.” Mr Victory said.