Health and safety officials under investigation for allegedly giving confidential information to CFMEU


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August 20, 2019 09:27:46

Queensland’s corruption watchdog has ordered an investigation into “critical allegations” senior authorities office security officers have handed confidential info to the development union and helped its officers goal a Brisbane producer.

Key factors:

  • Two authorities officers are accused of faking an nameless grievance so certainly one of them may examine a producing web site
  • A video reveals a CFMEU official swearing at ENCO staff on a worksite final yr
  • The CFMEU says ENCO Precast is a “rogue employer”

Two officers from Office Well being and Security (WHSQ) are named within the grievance, with Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Fee (CCC) concluding that “the alleged corrupt conduct is of a critical and/or systemic nature”.

The CCC has now directed the Queensland Workplace of Industrial Relations to research the allegations, with the watchdog vowing to evaluate the investigation and monitor “how the matter is handled”.

The allegations had been made by the concrete bridge beam producer ENCO Precast, which claimed the WHSQ officers “misused their authority and powers … to be able to trigger/threaten to trigger a detriment” to the corporate.

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ENCO refused entry to CFMEU officers

ENCO Precast has been resisting Development, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Vitality Union (CFMEU) makes an attempt to enter its Brisbane worksite over alleged security issues, with the corporate arguing that none of its employees are members of the union and that the security issues are vexatious.

“We have no CFMEU members right here,” ENCO Precast basic supervisor Steven James stated.

“They [the alleged safety concerns] are very basic in nature, they had been entry and egress, fireplace extinguishers, electrical issues.”

In July final yr, a number of CFMEU officers sporting permits entered the worksite sparking a confrontation by which ENCO Precast staff known as police.

“Police? Whoop-de-f***ing-doo mate. They do not get concerned in industrial disputes,” a CFMEU official says in a video recording of the incident.

“We have got rights to f***ing be right here, we have informed you that many f***ing instances.”

Mr James stated the union officers had been being threatening.

“It was very aggressive,” he stated.

“There was initially round about 10 to 12 individuals standing throughout the highway right here and really massive gents who got here to the location and pushed their approach into the location.”

In conferences, WHS officers have informed ENCO Precast that the CFMEU has a proper to enter the location.

In a video recorded just a few days after the preliminary entry and seen by the ABC, WHS development director Helen Burgess may be heard telling ENCO Precast executives that “we might be writing you a course to permit them [the union officials] to enter”.

The corporate was later issued 5 notices to let the CFMEU and different union officers come onto the location.

The CFMEU’s Queensland state secretary Michael Ravbar stated the corporate had an “abominable repute within the trade for reducing corners … ENCO is a rogue employer which has challenged not solely the authorized proper of authorised union officers, but in addition authorities security inspectors, to enter its work websites to handle security issues”.

Mr James stated the feedback about ENCO’s repute had been normal rhetoric and unsubstantiated.

Allegations WHSQ officers faked ‘nameless’ grievance

In its grievance to the CCC, ENCO Precast alleged that Ms Burgess “pressured one other unknown WHS officer … to lodge a false (unfaithful) ‘nameless’ grievance about ENCO to allow [the] CFMEU” to enter the ENCO worksite final yr.

An nameless letter despatched to the corporate, and handed on to the CCC, alleges Ms Burgess “had certainly one of her personal inspectors ring up and lodge a grievance to offer her the grounds to indicate up”.

The CCC additionally famous ENCO Precast’s claims that Ms Burgess and one other WHS official each disclosed confidential firm info to the CFMEU to be able to “acquire a profit” for the union and to trigger detriment to the corporate.

“Additional, you alleged that the officer/s misused their authority and powers to demand names and handle of the workers from ENCO Precast, in entrance of CFMEU members, which did and was meant to threaten, harass and intimidate the workers of ENCO Precast,” the CCC wrote.

Mr James, stated ENCO has had an excellent relationship with WHSQ previously.

“If any person is overstepping their authority, that must be reined in … authorities authorities should not be aiding unions exterior of their authority,” Mr James stated.

‘Let the solar in’

Earlier this yr, the Workplace of Industrial Relations (OIR) ordered an unbiased investigation into Opposition allegations concerning the conduct of Helen Burgess.

The investigation, carried out by Sydney office investigations agency O’Connor, Marsden & Associates was accomplished final month and submitted to the OIR.

That report will now be a part of the CCC-ordered investigation.

Ms Burgess informed the ABC she doesn’t have the authority to talk to the media about office well being and security issues.

Her employer, the OIR, referred the ABC to Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace for remark.

Ms Grace stated she was conscious the CCC had obtained complaints “concerning the interactions between Office Well being and Security and a Brisbane enterprise”.

“As is common apply, the CCC has delegated these complaints to the Workplace of Industrial Relations for investigation,” she stated.

Ms Grace stated the investigation’s findings can be referred again to the CCC and it might be inappropriate to remark additional because the matter was ongoing.

Opposition industrial relations spokesman Jarrod Bleijie stated the outcomes of the investigation should be made public.

“One of the best type of disinfectant is to let the solar in,” Mr Bleijie stated.

“The daylight wants to enter the entire Workplace of Industrial Relations and Office Well being and Security and the connection it has with the CFMEU and likewise Minister Grace’s workplace.”

Matters:

corruption,

industrial-relations,

building-and-construction,

unions,

brisbane-4000,

qld,

australia

First posted

August 20, 2019 05:05:58



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