The Guardian November 8, 2000


Victory in Hanssen dispute

Three weeks ago (October 18) The Guardian reported on a dispute 
at the Bluewater Construction site in South Perth in which two Construction 
Forestry Mining and Energy Union officials were assaulted. This week 
Vinnnie Molina reports on the CFMEU's victory over Hanssen Constructions 
which has been building predominantly without union labour for the past 
three years.

The CFMEU was locked in negotiations with Hanssen Constructions over an 
enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).

After workers of the site stood at a picket line, Hanssen PTY Ltd sacked 11 
members of the union for taking industrial action and belonging to a union.

The CFMEU took the matter to the Federal Industrial Relations Commission, 
which advised the builder to reinstate the workforce.

Hanssen defied the decision.

In further actions two union officials were assaulted on site by management 
and workers.

Days before the Federal Court was to hear the Union's claims of unfair 
dismissal and discrimination against its members sacked from the Bluewater 
project, lawyers for Gerry Hanssen contacted the union with an offer to 
settle.

On behalf of members the Union accepted the offer. As a result:

* all workers sacked by Gerry Hanssen Pty Ltd in September at the Bluewater 
project have been reinstated;

* all workers have been back paid ALL lost wages;

* $20,000 in costs have been paid by the company to the Union to cover the 
Union's legal fees.

Following the victory, the CFMEU issued a statement titled: "80,000 reasons 
why it pays to be in the CFMEU".

"Cost to us: $0.

"Cost to Hanssen: approx $80,000 plus lost productivity.

"We continue to proudly fight for our members rights and win", said the 
statement.

"Dare to struggle dare to win!!"

Back to index page