New Mega-Union ‘Beggars Belief’

Collective bargaining has long helped ensure that Australian workers receive a fair wage.

While unions have been losing numbers and bargaining power over recent years, the latest ‘mega-union’ merger could be changing that trend. And according to business leaders, the change won’t be good for the nation.

Businesses warn a new mega-union combining the CFMEU, dock workers and textile workers will leave Australia’s supply chains at their mercy.

But the newly-christened CFMMEU — with the extra ‘M’ — says it will fight for workers to get pay rises and corporations to pay tax.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia, and the Maritime Union of Australia will become one union from 27 March.

The Fair Work Commission on Tuesday approved the creation of the CFMMEU, which has added ‘Maritime’ to the name and will have around 144,000 members.

Big business has too much power, we have record levels of inequality in our community, and working families are finding it hard to make ends meet,’ secretary of the new union Michael O’Connor said on Tuesday.

But the Australian Logistics Council’s managing director Michael Kilgariff says the unions making up the ‘mega-union’ have shown blatant disregard for the law. He stated:

Allowing these two unions to combine their resources and their appetites for militancy is not in the interests of freight logistics operators, consumers or the wider community’.

The Australian Mines and Metals Association told the Fair Work Commission in January the new union would have revenues of almost $150 million a year, and more than $300 million in assets.

It beggars belief that the intention of our workplace laws is to allow two unions with a history of law-breaking and many outstanding [legal] proceedings to merge,’ the association’s Amanda Mansini said.

Workplace Minister Craig Laundy said it was not unreasonable to ask if unions who regularly break the law and aren’t deterred by fines should come together.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said if the government was so worried about unions it should look after workers better.

The Australian Tribune with AAP

Comments: 4

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

  1. you notice the unions terminology “says it will fight for workers to get pay rises”. the assumption in their dialogue is that everyone who wants to work is in a job. what they never seem to get is that central planning of wages causes job loss or stops people getting jobs when the unions artificially force up wages, rather than to let money flow organically to where it should in a market economy. there should be no central body deciding wages. unions should step away from wage fixation and just focus on showing up employers who pay small wages and workers conditions but ultimately wage levels are up to what the employer can afford. unions should focus on getting Australia back onto hard money like the bitcoin standard or the gold standard. fiat money is what is really damaging workers lives, but most unionists don’t understand economics. with only 10% of workers now in a union, what has the market decided? the market has decided that unions aren’t’ answering the issues in their lives and that the unions are no good.

  2. Never ceases to amaze me that Unions are treated like this. Controlling unions is controlling wages, yet we do not have price control. Prices of essential services , health, power, fuel, water etc are out of control yet there is no trying to put a legislative control on prices. It is always put up that competition controls prices but that is not the case where companies operate in almost monopolies. Then you have companies that have exploited their employees with no legislative control. Lets have some balance in this argument please.

  3. No matter what – the middle class worker of Australia is getting screwed over. This is globalism. And the Union merging to bigger (did he say criminal above?) entity, no wonder there’s so much nationalism and rebellion today. I have you know the Unions who forced “Enterprise Bargaining’ has forced your wages low. Research it. Have a look at the graph of wages figures to jobs growth – we’re slaves people and if we don;t wake up, start speaking up and taking things into our own hands collectively your slavery could soon become permanent. The TPP is the plan for that. But that’s another story

  4. All comments made have merit to some degree. Unions have hindered as much as they’ve helped workers. Unions are the members not the representatives. They’re only the mouth pieces for the collective workforce who pay membership. Unfortunately, sometimes the members are shafted by back room handshakes between corporate and union bosses (Bill Shorten comes to mind). Mr Barnes has the most valid point here… The price of essential services needs to be regulated and controlled better and should never have been allowed to be owned/ leased by private corporations. Call me a socialist if you may (and you’d be ill advised to do so) but some things should always remain under public ownership (Govt.) since competition hasn’t worked! It used to work for the Teclos in the USA but over time the multitude of Telcos were bought out/ taken over by bigger corporations to the point now, that the entire US Telco network is controlled by 3 big corporations who collude without being brought to task. Some may say that the NBN Co. is worse but it at least is a publicly owned (Govt) entity. Problem there though is that Malcom TalkBull turned it into a fiasco by having fibre bottle neck into copper which also forces Nodes to be powered by the grid power which is a dumb idea.