ACTU congratulates the CFMMEU for their win in the High Court after six years fighting against the Government’s anti-union ABCC over industrial action taken in Brighton in 2015 in support of bathroom facilities for a woman working on site.

CFMMEU members stopped work in Bay Street Brighton after the head contractor refused to provide amenities or a female toilet for the one woman working on the site. For the last six years the ABCC has been pursuing the CFMMEU and two organisers, Steve Long and Gerard Benstead. In 2021 the CFMMEU finally won against the ABCC after they took the case to the High Court.

This case was burdensome, long and expansive on all involved, and the ABCC wasted tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money for nothing.

The ABCC should instead dedicate their government money and resources for good, by helping chase the underpayment of workers by unscrupulous contractors, or prosecuting employers who fail to provide a safe workplace or basic amenities, like toilets.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“Women have the right to a bathroom at work, and the ABCC’s fight against a union seeking this basic right is absurd and an appalling waste of money. The CFMMEU is doing a great job standing up for its female members and getting more women into the workforce in construction. 

“The ABCC has proven once again that it’s a Liberal Party attack dog designed and directed to attack unions – if they really worked in the interest of the public, they would be fighting against the underpayment of workers instead of against female restrooms. 

“The ABCC has spent six years wasting tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer’s money for nothing. While businesses and workers are desperately calling for JobKeeper to be brought back, the Morrison Government is bankrolling the ABCC taking union organisers to the high court and losing.

“Although the CFMMEU won the case, this case tied up union resources for years. The ABCC should be held accountable for this immense waste of money and for pulling union resources away from the essential work that the CFMMEU does every day.”