Unions bosses facing court action over alleged actions on Gold Coast building site

The Construction Union and two of its senior officials are facing action in the Federal Court over alleged actions on a Gold Coast building site.

The CFMMEU, Assistant Queensland State Secretary Jade Ingham and union organiser Shane Desmond are accused of coercion, adverse action and organised unlawful industrial action at the Qube project in Broadbeach in October 2017.

The Australian Building and Construction Commission claims the industrial action was sparked after a health and safety officer was verbally abused and threatened by a CFMMEU site delegate.


According to the ABCC’s statement of claims, the union delegate threatened the health and safety officer to ‘come out on the street and sort it out’.

He was asked not to attend the site while an investigation was carried out by the head contractor, prompting dozens of workers to refuse to do any work.

Mr Desmond is alleged to have warned that union members would not resume work until the union delegate was reinstated.

Workers walked off the site the following day after another meeting attended by Mr Desmond and Mr Ingham.

The ABCC says Mr Ingham later obtained an agreement with the project’s head contractor that the union delegate and health and safety officer would both receive warning letters but be allowed to return to the site.

The ABCC alleges the CFMMEU, Mr Ingham and Mr Desmond breached the Building and Construction Industry Act with the unlawful industrial action.

It also accused them of two breaches of the Fair Work Act for adverse action and coercion.