FMG defends refusal of union access

FORTESCUE Metals Group Limited (FMG) has defended its decision to refuse representatives from the AWU and the CFMEU access to its Cloudbreak construction site in the Pilbara following the fatal accident on Friday, 11 January.

FORTESCUE Metals Group Limited (FMG) has defended its decision to refuse representatives from the AWU and the CFMEU access to its Cloudbreak construction site in the Pilbara following the fatal accident on Friday, 11 January.

Three unions — the AMWU, CFMEU and AWU — have each applied for permission to enter the Cloudbreak construction site.

The AMWU, being the union which has coverage of the construction work being performed at Cloudbreak, visited the site on Thursday 17 January to carry out a preliminary inspection of the site of the accident.

WorkSafe is currently carrying out an investigation into last Friday’s fatal accident at Cloudbreak.

United Group Resources (UGR), the employer of the deceased, and The Pilbara Infrastructure Pty. Ltd (TPI), the occupier of the construction site, are carrying out a separate investigation into the accident.

According to Fortescue Metals, the AWU and the CFMEU, despite requests from UGR and TPI, have not yet provided the necessary documentation as required under the relevant legislation.

“Without the necessary documentation, access to the Cloudbreak construction site cannot be provided,” FMG said in a statement.

“Both UGR & TPI are cooperating fully with the relevant authorities and have complied with all requests for information and documentation.

“It is not the intention of TPI Pty. Ltd. to obstruct or deny in any way access to the construction site by any party which has a legal right to carry out legitimate business on the site,” FMG said in a statement.

TPI has requested the assistance of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission to resolve any disputes.

“TPI does not want to become involved in unproductive demarcation disputes between competing unions,” FMG said.

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