$540,000 in penalties for CFMEU

The Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) has been hit with over $540,000 in penalties for Fair Work breaches in Adelaide after losing an ­appeal against two adverse Federal Court judgments.

The building watchdog took Federal Court action against the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union and 10 officials for breaches of the Fair Work Act on two Adelaide construction sites in 2013.

Five CFMEU officials entered the Flinders University site, threatening to stop the project if the site supervisor did not fly the CFMEU flag on a crane. After the flag was flown, three officials posed for photographs in front of the crane.

On the same day, six CFMEU officials entered a TAFE project at Tonsley Park without providing required notice, telling a project manager that notices would not be filled out. The CFMEU was subsequently penalised $456,000 and officials between $1200 and $9700 each, with overall penalties totalling $494,150. The union and three officials were also penalised $54,200 for separate right-of-entry breaches on another site.

A Federal Court full court yesterday dismissed the appeal after refusing the union leave to make new arguments.

It is the second significant ­financial penalty imposed on the CFMEU within a week. The Federal Court fined the union and seven officials a total of $277,000 for ­unlawful action at the Perth Children's Hospital project.

The CFMEU also paid $525,000 to John Holland to settle a damages claim over blockades and industrial action at the $1.2 billion project in 2013.