Secret deal a distraction from WorkChoices revival

Published: 6 Dec 2020

A secret plan to create laws that would make it easier to break up unions are a distraction to provide cover for the Federal Government to begin reviving WorkChoices warns the CFMEU.

“Union officials making secret deals with the Attorney General on laws that will affect all workers and all unions provides a distraction from the government’s agenda of undermining working rights,” said Dave Noonan, CFMEU Construction Secretary.

“Tony Maher and the Mining and Energy Division have never made any proposal to disamalgamate from the union at any formal or informal meeting.”

“The other divisions of the CFMMEU including Construction and Maritime have provided solidarity to Mining and Energy members during disputes, including at the Oakey North dispute in 2017/18.”

“The fundamental principle of a democratic workers organisation is to accept majority decisions made by the democratic processes of the union.”

“It’s understandable that some individuals will be disappointed if the majority decision doesn’t go the way they wish or their personal views do not convince the majority.”

“But the union is bigger than any individual and every individual union official is responsible to the members through the democratic structures of the union.”

“Tony Maher did not inform the CFMMEU, the ACTU nor any other union about his secret meeting with Christian Porter. He still hasn’t told anyone what deals he has done with the Attorney General and the Morrison Government.”

“The government will use this bill to divert attention from the Industrial Relations Omnibus Bill it is putting to Parliament next week, which is the beginning of a march back to WorkChoices.”

“Workers in the industries the CFMMEU covers have helped keep the nation running during the pandemic and now we're facing attacks from the government on wages, conditions and the right to organise.”

“We call on everyone in the trade union movement to put aside their personal grievances and focus on our core mission which is to defend workers' rights.”