Boral welcomes report on trade union activities

By Mike Hayes05 January 2016

Mike Kane, CEO of Boral.

Mike Kane, CEO of Boral.

The recommendations of a new Royal Commission report into trade union practices, have been welcomed by Australian materials producer Boral.

The report follows a court case last year, which resulted in the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) being ordered to pay up to A$ 9 million in damages to Boral, after a dispute over an alleged ‘black ban’ on the company’s products.

Boral claimed the CFMEU had initiated an illegal ban after Boral refused to stop supplying concrete to construction company Grocon, with whom the union was in dispute.

Boral claims that until now there has been no legal protection preventing the CFMEU’s control of market activity.

In conjunction with an interim report, produced in December 2014, Boral’s CEO and MD, Mike Kane, says the Royal Commission’s latest report lists a “catalogue of rampant union abuses of the Australian legal system by serial recidivists."

“It is abundantly clear,” he said, “that the rule of law has been trampled on by an organisation that prides itself in taking the law into its own hands.”

In a statement during which Mr Kane praised the seriousness with which the Commission had treated the matter, he claimed there had been “a longstanding malignancy or disease within the CFMEU” and spoke of a “regular disregard for industrial laws by CFMEU officials,” whom he claimed had habitually shown contempt for the rule of law.

The report is “significant,” he said, “because it provides a clear pathway of reform so that, in future, organisations illegally targeted can get immediate assistance from government to halt conduct designed to financially punish law-abiding businesses who get in the way of the illegal designs of rogue unions like the CFMEU’s construction division”.

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