Monday 19th Feb, 2018

Merged CFMEU-MUA union would be ‘too big’ to deal with, mining body says

MUA banners. Photo: Jim Wilson
MUA banners. Photo: Jim Wilson

The proposed merger of two of Australia’s biggest unions would create a $150 million super union ‘too big’ to be dealt with by the courts, according to a joint submission by the Australian Mines and Metals Association and Master Builders Australia to the Fair Work Commission.

The FWC is reviewing the merger between the CFMEU and the MUA – Australia’s largest construction workers union and maritime workers union, respectively.

The AMMA and the MBA argued vehemently against the merger in their joint submission to the review.

“The CFMEU and the MUA have said that the proposed amalgamation will create a ‘super union’ that will affect [mining, maritime and construction] employers ‘significantly’,” the submission states.

“The CFMEU and the MUA have promoted the proposed amalgamation with videos showing violent clashes between union members and the police. The videos promise that the proposed amalgamation will create ‘Australia’s toughest union’.”

AMMA principal workplace relations consultant Peter Cooke, who delivered an affidavit to the FWC review, said the merger would create a union that would be able to take co-ordinated action across supply chains servicing many of Australia’s largest and most important resource projects.

“Each of the CFMEU and the MUA regularly engage in unlawful, confrontational, and aggressive industrial tactics,” Cooke told the review.

“The CFMEU and MUA clearly intend to use the proposed amalgamation to significantly strengthen the co-ordinated action, including industrial action, they are able to take against employers,” he continued.

“I have calculated that the amalgamated entity would have approximately $310,072,726 in assets, annual revenue of $146,536,568 and a membership of some 144,000 people.

“AMMA and its affected members are extremely concerned that the proposed amalgamation presents a significant threat to the proper and efficient function of the resources sector, which in turn, may threaten the viability of many businesses in Australia.”