Australian trade unionist and Workers' Liberty activist Bob Carnegie is likely to be hauled into court again on 21 October, for a 20-day hearing of a civil-law claim for damages over the QCH dispute against the unions on the QCH site – CFMEU, the CEPU, and the BLF.
A mediation hearing between union and company lawyers produced no result. Abigroup is pursuing the case aggressively, claiming many millions of dollars in damages.
It is possible that a legal move by the CEPU may result in the hearing being postponed, and in that case the postponement will be for some months.
As of now, though, we have to reckon on the hearing coming soon. Download, print off, and distribute the new campaign leaflet!
Earlier this year Bob faced contempt-of-court charges over the dispute, in which, as a community activist, he helped workers on the Queensland Children's Hospital construction site win their demand for a union-negotiated site agreement after a nine-week stoppage in August-October 2012.
He was acquitted on the contempt charges. But in the civil case the test of evidence is "balance of probability", not "beyond reasonable doubt". Unless we organise a strong campaign to alert the labour movement and public opinion to the issues, Bob could face crushing fines and damages.