Test for Our Weak Union Controlled PM When Coalition Introduces Urgent CFMEU De-merger Bill

Liberal Party of Australia

Australia’s weak Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will face a crucial test next week when the Coalition brings an urgent Bill into Parliament to allow workers within the Manufacturing Division of the CFMEU to de-merge from the militant union.

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Senator Michaelia Cash said the Albanese Government and their allies in the Australian Greens voted against an almost identical piece of legislation back in February which would have allowed this de-merger vote to go ahead.

“This weak Prime Minister who is controlled by the unions must reverse his position and support our legislation in the next sitting week,” she said.

The Coalition will introduce the Bill in the wake of the intimidation, bullying and thuggery of CFMEU Victorian boss John Setka who last week made outrageous demands of the AFL to sack their umpire boss Steve McBurney

Mr Setka threatened disruptions on AFL-linked infrastructure worksites across the country because of Mr McBurney’s former role as head of the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

The Coalition will introduce the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Standing Up Against Bullying, Thuggery and Intimidation) Bill 2024 when Parliament resumes next week..

The key mechanism of the Bill will enable a secret ballot to occur on the de-merger question. This has been requested by manufacturing workers to protect them from intimidation and retaliation.

Senator Cash said the outrageous recent behaviour of Mr Setka highlighted the need to protect vulnerable workers from the CFMEU.

“These members of the manufacturing division are mostly women and they have wanted out of the CFMEU for a long time,” Senator Cash said.

“I’ve met with them in the past and they were very clear. They said that they were sick and tired of being associated with the actions of the militant members of the construction division of the CFMEU and in particular John Setka,” she said.

“They talked about intimidation, standover tactics and even violence from members of this union,” Senator Cash said.

“The standover tactics of Mr Setka were on full display again last week with his demands for the AFL to sack Stephen McBurney,” she said.

“He even stood over Prime Minister Anthony Albanese telling him to ‘stay out of it’. The Prime Minister is so weak that’s exactly what he did – stayed out of it,” Senator Cash said.

“It is now time to stand up for the vulnerable workers of the manufacturing divisions of the CFMEU and allow them to get out of this militant union – they should not have to wait another minute,” she said.

“Last time a Bill of this nature to allow them to de-merge from the CFMEU came before the Parliament the Labor Party voted against it,” Senator Cash said.

“So this will be a test for our weak Prime Minister Albanese and his Labor colleagues. Do they care about vulnerable women in the manufacturing sector or will they capitulate to the CFMEU once again,” she said.

“It’s time this weak Prime Minister grew a backbone and stood up for what’s right,” Senator Cash said.

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