Convicted unionist on another assault charge
A youth organiser for the construction union in WA who the union said deserved a “second chance” in Perth after a string of criminal convictions interstate, is facing a new assault charge.
Luke Collier, one of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union’s most militant officials, will appear in Fremantle Magistrate’s Court next month to plead not guilty to the charge of common assault.
Mr Collier came to WA after being convicted in the Eastern States of multiple offences going back to at least 2004, including theft, criminal damage and four charges of assault — one of which resulted in three months jail in Queensland.
He was charged with aggravated assault against a former girlfriend after she reported to police she had been beaten on multiple occasions, including suffering a broken arm. Charges were withdrawn when she failed to appear in court.
Mr Collier is on WA’s No Permit list, meaning he is banned from worksites, but is still one of the union’s few paid organisers on a salary estimated to be at least $100,000 a year.
Union insiders say that there is concern within the CFMEU and the Maritime Union about Mr Collier’s promotion, particularly given his record of violence against women.
One concerned member of the CFMEU assistant State secretary union told The Weekend West that Mr Collier did “not represent union values” and questioned why he remained employed in the State division.
“People are questioning how they can be spending their union’s money on a bloke who can’t go on to a job and do anything, and asking why we have inherited a bloke from the east coast who has got a track record,” the insider said.
Mr Collier has also faced multiple allegations from the Fair Work Building and Construction Commission, including that he spat on and called one of the regulator’s female investigators a “f ...... slut” at a Sydney worksite.
It was alleged he also asked her if she had bought her kneepads to work because “you are going to be sucking off these f ...... dogs all day”. The intimidation charge on this case was dismissed because the woman was not intimidated.
Mr Collier could not be reached for comment.
CFMEU assistant State secretary Cam McCullough said the matter was before the courts and the charge was unrelated to his union work. “As far as we are concerned, everyone is innocent until proven guilty,” he said.
‘As far as we are concerned, everyone is innocent until proven guilty.’
CFMEU organiser Luke Collier faces an assault charge.