Q:
I am not a union member, but I want to be part of the CFMEU class action. How can I join?

At present the class action is confined to persons who were members of the CFMEU Mining and Energy Division as of the date of their last assignment with WorkPac in the period between 20 August 2013 and 20 August 2019 or were a member of the union as of 20 August 2019.

However, if you don’t fall within this definition, you should still register your interest. This is because we can make an application to broaden the class action to new members who join the CFMEU after 20 August 2019. However, that will depend on the level of interest received from current non-members.

Q:
I am eligible to be part of the CFMEU class action, do I have to pay anything to the CFMEU if the claim is successful?

If you are a union member there will be no additional charge other than your union dues.

Q:
I no longer work for WorkPac, am I still eligible?

If you meet the criteria for the class, you are eligible. This means that you were employed during the relevant period, were a union member at the time of your last assignment (or were a union member as of 20 August 2019) and meet the other criteria listed in the “About the Claim” section of the web page.

Q:
I am worried about costs if we lose the class action. Am I protected from costs?

Yes. The CFMEU will cover any costs that arise in respect of the class action. However, because the matter concerns claims made under the Fair Work Act 2009, costs are generally not awarded against the losing party.

Q:
How long will the case take?

Like most legal cases, it is impossible to tell with any precision. Also, it is likely that other cases currently being conducted in the Federal Court will have some bearing on the outcome of the class action. However, as a general estimate a period of one to two years from the date of the application would not be unreasonable.

It should also be noted that class action applications are usually settled before a full hearing of the merits and this may shorten the litigation period.

Q:
How will I find out about the progress of the case?

If you are a union member who is eligible to be part of the class action and your details have been collected, we will provide you with regular updates when there have been significant developments. Otherwise, general updates will be posted on this web page.

Q:
Will I have a say in any settlement if there is one reached?

We will consult with members as widely and effectively as possible. However, due to the large number of employees concerned and the involvement of another class action law firm, we cannot guarantee that your specific consent will be obtained before a settlement is presented to the Court.

However, the CFMEU will always try to maximise any return to members and any settlement will have be justified to the Court in terms of its fairness to class members before it is approved by the Court. Our track record in recovering back pay for members is strong and we are known as tough negotiators.

Any settlement of the proceeding must also be approved by the Court, who must be convinced that the settlement is fair and reasonable to group members.

Q:
I have been offered permanent employment with WorkPac, will this affect my claim?

Yes, the claim can only cover any period of employment as a flat-rate casual. However, we believe that if you are offered permanent employment by WorkPac you should take it as this class action is not only about obtaining back-pay for affected members, but is about ensuring that employees are properly classified as permanent employees into the future.

Q:
I have signed an agreement with Adero to be part of the Petersen class action but I would prefer to be part of the CFMEU class action. What can I do?

You should register your details with the CFMEU and note that you have signed on to the Adero (Petersen) class action. In due course, we may be able to advise you of any measures that the Court might order in order to facilitate employee choice in relation to the class actions. However, we cannot guarantee that you will be released from the agreement you have entered into with Adero.

Question not covered? Use the form below to contact us with any question you may have

Register your interest