King & Wood Mallesons

Asia-Pacific 100 position: 2

Employees to pay more than $1m in fines for unlawful strike

By Angela Weber

The Federal Court of Australia has issued fines totalling $1m to 117 construction workers who went on strike against Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) orders.   

The workers walked off the job in 2008 to put pressure on their employer to pay them severance pay. The AIRC ordered them to return to work the same day, but most of the workers refused to return to work for up to a further week.   

The court held that the workers had taken unlawful industrial action under the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act and had breached the Workplace Relations Act by ignoring the AIRC’s order to return to work…

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