Issue #1566 26 September 2012
Grocon brings damages against union
The CFMEU (construction and general division) has broken its self-imposed Victorian Supreme Court ban and will now defend contempt charges laid against it by Grocon and the Victorian government.
The union has engaged experienced senior criminal barrister Peter Morrissey SC, and was successful in delaying the contempt hearing until September 26 in the face of stiff opposition from the company and the state government.
Grocon lodged a 130-page statement of claim which details its allegations that the union and eight officials have committed breaches of the torts of public nuisance, private nuisance, inducing breach of contract and intimidation.
Grocon estimates its losses at four Melbourne projects at $10.5 million, including $8.8 million at the Emporium site in the CBD which has been the centre of the dispute.
The other sites are the McNab Avenue project in Footscray, 150 Collins Street and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Parkville.
The company is also seeking exemplary damages for alleged breaches of court orders made on August 21, 22 and 28. The damages case is unlikely to be heard until next year. CFMEU construction and general division national secretary Dave Noonan said it would be “vigorously defended.”
The statement of claim alleges that since October 2011, the union has been demanding that it “should have an entitlement or right to determine who will be employed in, appointed to or alternatively nominated to the role of employee representative (howsoever described)” of Grocon employees at the four sites.
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