Joe McDonald found guilty of workplace bullying – yet again. Bill Shorten must now act

CFMEU boss Joe McDonald was yesterday banned by the Federal Court from Brookfield Multiplex sites for three years and fined $30,500, with the CFMEU fined $143,000 as a result of appalling bullying and intimidation by McDonald on Perth building sites.

The court decision revealed that McDonald:

  • Threatened to have one contractor’s workers “thrown off every construction site you’re on in Perth” if they did not participate in an illegal strike;
  • Blocked access to a building site, preventing honest workers from going to work;
  • Held an employee by the neck and raised his fist at him in a threatening manner.

Minister for Employment Senator Abetz said this was the latest example of Joe McDonald and the WA CFMEU’s contempt for the law.

In 2007 Kevin Rudd moved to have McDonald expelled from the Labor Party after he was caught on video bullying employees on worksites. Mr Rudd described McDonald’s behaviour as "completely unacceptable” and “incendiary and unacceptable.”

In April 2013, McDonald re-joined the WA ALP and is now throwing his weight around in the State party. His re-joining was welcomed at the time by the WA ALP State Secretary, Simon Mead, who said Mr McDonald had been “very helpful” to Labor during the State election...”

Senator Abetz said Bill Shorten must now tell West Australians where he stands on Joe McDonald.

Last year, when introducing anti-bullying amendments to the Fair Work Act, Mr Shorten told the House of Representatives:

“Bullying is a real menace in our workplaces that costs the economy as it damages productivity. Most tragically, it hurts people - sometimes with tragic, fatal consequences..”

“This issue is now a test of Bill Shorten’s leadership and a test of his political sincerity,” Senator Abetz said

“If Mr Shorten is really concerned about workplace bullying he must act now to have McDonald again expelled from the ALP. “

“This is a fundamental leadership issues as to the type of people and conduct Mr Shorten embraces in the Labor Party,” Senator Abetz said.

About Eric

Eric Abetz has been a Liberal Senator for Tasmania since 1994 and has served in a range of Leadership, Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial roles.

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