Time for Mr Shorten to Stand up to CFMEU

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Bill Shorten needs to display leadership and cut ties with militant union the CFMEU following John Setka’s most recent display of contempt for the men and women who enforce our laws.

“John Setka’s use of his own children in an obscene image to target the hardworking officials of the Australian Building and Construction Commission is beyond the pale,” said the Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP.

“Instead of abolishing the ABCC, Mr Shorten should abolish his relationship with Mr Setka and the militant wing of the CFMEU.”

“Former Prime Minister and ACTU boss Bob Hawke has previously urged Bill Shorten to cut his ties with the CFMEU.”

Minister O’Dwyer said the Government will consider all options available to it to deal with the CFMEU, but as a first step urged Mr Shorten and Labor to stand up for workers and small business by supporting the Government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill which is currently before the Senate.

The Bill will ensure that unions are run by ‘fit and proper’ people, can be deregistered or placed under administration when, for example, there is widespread lawlessness, and can only merge when this is in the public interest.

“Supporting this Bill would show the Labor Party has some genuine desire to create safer workplaces and would distance itself from a section of the union movement that has no regard for the rule of law,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

Only last month Federal Court Judge Richard Tracey said of the CFMEU, “The union has adopted the attitude that it will not comply with any legislative constraints, placed on its operations, with which it disagrees. Such an approach is an anathema in a democratic society.”

There are currently 75 CFMEU representatives before the courts or the Fair Work Commission.

$15.9 million in penalties have been awarded against the CFMEU with nearly $1 million in penalties already confirmed against the CFMEU by the courts this financial year.

“The ABCC performs a critical role in stopping thuggery, intimidation and corrupt behaviour on our construction sites.”

“Labor should stand up for Australian workers, not lawbreaking union thugs,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.