AWU Member Wins 1.3 m damages for bullying

Thursday 17th December 2015


The Supreme Court sent a $1.3million message today that sexual harassment, bullying, and any sort of adverse social behaviour will not be tolerated in Victorian workplaces.


Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) Victorian Secretary Ben Davis said the decision would not heal the pain or the damage done to AWU member Kate Mathews while working for construction company Winslow.


“The shocking sexual harassment suffered by Kate is a disgrace, and those who perpetrated it, and those who stood by and watched it happen should hang their heads in shame,” Mr Davis said.


“The AWU will pursue those who harass, those who bully and those who believe they have a right to take away someone else’s enjoyment of work and life in general.”


Mr Davis said the AWU’s Zero Tolerance for Bullying policy had permeated the majority of workplaces, and that there could be no exceptions.


“I don’t know whether some people are suffering under the misapprehension that a blue collar workplace is only for the robust, for those who can take anything that is dished out,” he said.


“The reality is that there is never an excuse for the sort of appalling conduct that Kate was subjected to, and it is now obvious that there will no sympathy from the courts when it is brought before them.


“Bullies should be afraid, very afraid.”