NSW CFMEU organiser’s right of entry permit suspended

NSW CFMEU organiser's right of entry permit suspended

NSW CFMEU organiser’s right of entry permit suspended

The Fair Work Commission has suspended the right of entry permit for a NSW-based organiser from the CFMEU following the imposition of a financial penalty against him by the Federal Court. The suspension is for a period of three months.

Mr Anthony Dimitriou has been employed as a union organiser by the Construction, Forestry, and Maritime Employees Union since April 2018. He is the sole union representative responsible for organising and servicing union members in Wollongong, the Illawarra, and the South Coast of New South Wales.

Mr Dimitriou is a carpenter and joiner by trade and was also an elected delegate of the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia while working at the Sydney International Airport.

He has been a permit holder under the Fair Work Act 2009 (the FW Act) since 7 May 2018, as well as being an entry permit holder under the state WHS Act since 16 April 2018.

In a decision of the Federal Court of Australia, Justice Anna Katzmann ordered on 31 October 2023 that the union pay a total penalty of $250,000 for various contraventions of the Act and that Mr Dimitriou pay a penalty of $4,000 in respect of contravening s 500 of the FW Act on 28 November 2018.

The penalty resulted from Justice Katzmann accepting that Mr Dimitriou refused to undertake a site induction and deliberately and knowingly entered work premises unaccompanied by any representative of the occupier of the premises;

Although acknowledging that he was relatively inexperienced as an organiser at the time of the breaches, Justice Katzmann determined that Mr Dimitriou was aware of his legal obligations.

Consequently, Justice Katzmann noted that the organiser’s conduct “was inconsistent with his obligation as a permit holder under Part 3-4 of the Act and constituted an unlawful interference with the right of the occupier to go about its business without undue inconvenience”.

In assessing Mr Dimitriou’s eligibility to maintain an entry permit, Deputy President Tony Saunders determined that a suspension would not be unreasonable or harsh in the circumstances.

The Deputy President ordered that the entry permit be suspended for a period of three months, and the suspension to take effect from 5 pm on 5 March 2024. A ban was also placed on Mr Dimitriou being issued with a further entry permit for the same period.

In the matter of the Entry Permit of Mr Anthony Dimitriou – [2024] FWC 520

In the matter of the Entry Permit of Mr Anthony Dimitriou – FWC

 For queries about unions, right of entry, safety, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 0417 622 178, 1300 WAL LAW or via email to dean.cameron@workforceadvisory.com.au

Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Ref: 420.0324

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