Australia: Boral accuses union of blackmail

Australia: Boral accuses union of blackmail
10 July 2014


Boral's chief executive has gone on the offensive accusing the construction union of blackmail, a criminal conspiracy and an unlawful boycott of the company over the past 18 months.

Mike Kane, Boral CEO, told the Royal Commission into trade unions that, despite getting an injunction against the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), Boral has been frozen out of construction work in Melbourne. Now the dispute is being played out in the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.

"This is a criminal conspiracy to interfere in the marketplace and to stop our ability to supply our customers," Boral's CEO Mike Kane told the commission. "It's blackmail. It's blackmail by any other definition that I've ever heard of, and it's been effective."

Kane told the hearing that a team of Boral managers met with the  CFMEU Victoria secretary, John Setka, in April 2013, who said the union was at war with building firm Grocon and the war involved choking off Boral's concrete industry.

"When this so-called war ended, he would be at the seat of splitting up the spoils of that war and would determine the market share of Boral in the Melbourne market," Mr Kane said. He says the conspiracy relies on the complicity of rival firms who take work from Boral and contractors whose businesses may go under if their main source of income dries up. The Royal commission continues.

Published under Cement News

Tagged Under: Boral Australia