The long-threatened process of merging as one militant ‘super’ union by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Maritime Union of Australia and Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia has formally commenced.
The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) has confirmed its interest in the proceedings to the application made on 20 June 2017 to the Fair Work Commission.
Industry was significantly concerned about the impact on all aspects of the resources and energy supply chain and the wider Australian community from the potential merger, according to AMMA’s Director Workplace Relations, Amanda Mansini.
“There is no doubt that the stability of the supply chain, from pit to port, is at risk if this merger is allowed to go ahead,” she said.
“In Australia, we have clear rules to promote competitive business practices and the same rules should apply to unions who might otherwise restrict trade through unlawful conduct.”
“AMMA is concerned the risk of these particularly militant unions combining to hold a monopoly of the supply chain would translate to millions of dollars of foregone revenue for both State and Federal Governments, in turn affecting all Australians.”
AMMA has called on the Government to take action by moving decisively to introduce a public interest test, a step that Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash has previously committed to on the public record.
“Industry calls on Minister Cash to act now to ensure union mergers can only proceed where they are consistent with expectations of the broader Australian community, just like the standard that corporate business mergers are held to,” she said.
“This would not be an anti-union law. Unions that honestly and lawfully represent their members and always comply with Australian workplace laws should easily pass such a merger test. Unfortunately some unions persist in demonstrating this sort of unlawful behaviour as a badge of honour.”