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ACCC settles litigation with CEPU

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ACCC settles litigation with CEPU Page 1

Media release 13 October 1998

ACCC settles litigation with CEPU £& )

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has settled its Federal Court litigation with the Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union (CEPU).

The litigation involved allegations of a number of contraventions of the secondary boycott provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974, which occurred between November 1997 and early February 1998.

The ACCC instituted proceedings on 18 March 1998 alleging that the CEPU engaged in secondary boycott conduct against a fire protection contractor, Enterprise Fire Protection Pty Ltd. It also alleged that the CEPU engaged in secondary boycott conduct against Advanced Fire

Protection Pty Ltd, the company to which Enterprise subcontracted the fitting of sprinkler pipe at the La Sabbia building site on the Gold Coast.

The CEPU opposed subcontracting of works by fire protection companies. The conduct included picketing of the La Sabbia site preventing access by vehicles and suspension of its members involved in subcontracting.

The settlement reached between the ACCC and the CEPU involves consent orders by the Federal Court which include:

• an injunction requiring the CEPU not to engage in the conduct referred to above for the reason that sprinkler fitting is being carried out by a subcontractor or non-member of the CEPU;

• implementation by the CEPU of a trade practices compliance program for its Queensland branch; • the CEPU notifying sprinkler fitter members, fire protection contractors and builders that the conduct has ceased; • agreement by the CEPU to reinstate members who were suspended for involvement in

subcontracting; and • an agreed contribution by the CEPU to the costs of the ACCC's proceedings.

"This settlement has avoided protracted and expensive proceedings," ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Eels, said. "The settlement provides an assurance to Enterprise, Advanced Fire and other participants in the fire protection industry that the conduct will not be repeated. The ACCC considers this a reasonable outcome all round and a good result for small businesses."

For further information about this media release: Professor Allan Eels, ACCC Chairman, (02) 6243 1129 Ms Lin Enright, Director, Public Relations, (02) 6243 1108

MR 188/98 20/10/1998