The Courier-Mail

A DEVINE INTERVENTI­ON

Building firm allegedly excluded non-union contractor

- EXCLUSIVE DES HOUGHTON

A QUEENSLAND constructi­on company allegedly discrimina­ted against a steel fabricatio­n firm because it did not have a CFMEU-friendly enterprise agreement.

Devine Constructi­ons stopped the steel fabricatio­n firm from working on a Teneriffe apartment block when it had a contract to do so, and refused to engage the company for other work, according to a statement of claim in the Federal Court.

Devine Constructi­ons’ general manager Michael Tucker and two employees, Wayne Sengelman and Andrew Blore, were also accused of breaching the Fair Work Act.

The charges follow an extensive investigat­ion by Fair Work Building & Constructi­on, the federal constructi­on watchdog. Investigat­ors followed an email trail back to November 2013.

A CFMEU official allegedly told Devine Constructi­ons not to allow the steel fabricatio­n company to perform any work.

“You guys aren’t allowed to do any work here,” Mr Sengelman, Devine Constructi­ons’ project manager told two of the steel fabricatio­n company’s workers who turned up to the Commercial Rd site to deliver and install bolts.

“Just as workers should not be discrimina­ted against for being a member, or not being a member, of a union, contractor­s should not be disadvanta­ged if they do not have a specific kind of enterprise agreement,” said Nigel Hadgkiss, FWBC director.

FWBC alleges Devine Constructi­ons broke the law five times and that Mr Tucker, Mr Sengelman and Mr Blore broke the law during the negotiatio­ns.

FWBC alleges that over a period of months, Devine Constructi­ons received tenders from at least eight companies for the work.

Craig’s Engineerin­g was only given the opportunit­y to submit an initial price and one reserved price, while others were given an initial price and invited to revise their bids two or three times.

A Devine Constructi­ons document tendered in evidence contained a note: “Union recommende­d not to use – in the process of signing an EBA (Enterprise Bargaining Agreement).”

Mr Tucker decided not to award the work to Craig’s Engineerin­g.

Mr Blore allegedly told Craig’s it needed an agreement before it could obtain work. “We do not want any problems with the union,” he allegedly said.

A directions hearing is scheduled for October 12.

CONTRACTOR­S SHOULD NOT BE DISADVANTA­GED IF THEY DO NOT HAVE A SPECIFIC KIND OF ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT

Nigel Hadgkiss

 ??  ?? WATCH:
Nigel Hadgkiss warns firms should not be affected.
WATCH: Nigel Hadgkiss warns firms should not be affected.

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