SUPPRESSION and non-publication orders have been lifted in the high profile secondary boycott case against the CFMMEU.
The Federal Court has now published an unredacted copy of its judgment handed down in October 2017.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) commenced proceedings against the CFMMEU in November 2014 alleging it had engaged in secondary boycott conduct in breach of section 45D of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
The Court handed down its liability judgment, subject to suppression and non-publication orders, and a redacted version of the judgment was published at that time.
In February 2018 the Court ordered the CFMMEU to pay a penalty of $1 million and made declarations.
As reported in The Australian, the unredacted judgment showed the ACCC rejected an earlier $3million settlement offer by the CFMMEU.
The ACCC could only successfully prosecute two of 12 alleged civil breaches of competition and consumer laws, leading to the significantly smaller fine.
The Court declared that the CFMMEU hindered or prevented the acquisition of concrete from Boral or its subsidiary, Alsafe, at two commercial construction sites in Melbourne for the purpose of causing substantial loss or damage to Boral’s business, in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act.
“This was a significant matter for the ACCC and it is important that, now the suppression order have been lifted, the public can find out what the Court ruled, including its finding of a ‘Ban against Boral’ and the involvement of (CFMMEU) executives in the conduct,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“The Court noted that this conduct should be regarded as very serious, particularly because it involved senior management of the union, including its secretary John Setka, president Ralph Edwards, and vice president Shaun Reardon.”
“This is reflected in the penalties imposed against the CFMEU, which are the highest ever for this type of conduct.”
When the ACCC commenced its case in 2014, it included allegations of undue harassment and coercion against two CFMEU executives, John Setka and Shaun Reardon.