CFMEU swears by curse

THE lawyer representing a sacked mine worker has suggested to Fair Work Australia that calling a colleague a "scab (expletive)" could be part of protected industrial action.

Walter "Brendan" Meacle was alleged to have given the finger sign to non-union member Trevor Loader and yelled at him as he drove from Norwich Park Mine during a strike on March 31.

Mr Meacle has repeatedly denied the accusations, saying instead that he was yelling "go home", something the presiding Judge Bruce Lander described as "difficult to accept".

The court also heard from BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance's (BMA's) Kirsty Taylor, a human relations specialist who investigated complaints against Mr Meacle.

For the third and final day of hearings that began on May 15, lawyers from the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union and BMA argued over whether or not Mr Meacle had done anything wrong.

Richard Kenzie QC, acting for BMA, said Mr Meacle's alleged actions were outside the expected behaviour, something Mr Meacle admitted when asked how he would hypothetically judge that sort of action.

However, Warren Friend SC, for the CFMEU, continued to deny the allegations, but said coarse language including the word "scab" was part of a picket line and thus protected from BMA's codes of conduct.


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