CFMEU warns of ‘dangerous precedent’ in union interference bill


The CFMEU has warned the Albanese Government’s proposed laws designed to intervene in the union’s composition could set a dangerous precedent.

Legislation introduced to federal parliament on Monday will allow the CFMEU’s manufacturing division to hold a ballot on leaving the powerful construction union.

The bill restores now-repealed Coalition-era powers to undermine unions and singles out the CFMEU to allow a ballot after the manufacturing division’s multiple failed legal attempts to do so.

CFMEU National Secretary Zach Smith said it was a deeply disappointing move from a Labor government.

“A federal government intervention in determining union coverage is a massive mistake that could ultimately hurt workers,” he said.

“This bill risks setting a dangerous precedent for anti-worker ideologues in future coalition governments to break up unions.

“The Fair Work Commission has ruled very clearly on this issue. Instead of accepting the umpire’s decision, we’ve now seen backroom political games trump members’ best interests.

“I’m really concerned about what this will mean for members in the manufacturing division, which is in dire financial straits after wasting money in failed legal challenges.

“We are absolutely confident those members would be better served by remaining with the CFMEU.

“Construction supply chain workers are clearly best represented by the construction union.

“The outcomes speak for themselves. Last week, CFMEU members across Victorian and New South Wales saw pay increases in excess of 20 per cent.

“Our focus will always be on world-first safety campaigns like banning engineered stone and delivering the pay and conditions workers in a dangerous industry deserve.”

/Public Release.