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The Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union (TCFUA) has confirmed it may merge with the much larger Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).
While the two unions have been in talks for the past several months, any final decision on a merger would have to be put to a vote of TCFUA members. Once endorsed by the union membership, the unions would then proceed to meet requirements under the relevant industrial legislation.
“We want our members’ future to be in the best possible union – one that is strong and effective,” TCFUA National Secretary Michele O’Neil said in a statement.
“The CFMEU is a great union. We have chosen to enter into discussions with them because they are a union that campaigns for jobs as well as for workers’ rights and conditions.”
As The Australian reports, the TCFUA has 6,000 members compared to the CFMEU’s 100,000.
“This is not driven by crisis; we could have continued as a stand-alone union, but the leadership believes we need to look at being part of a larger union where we could combine our resources and campaigning,” O’Neil told the Australian.
CFMEU National Secretary Michael O’Connor said the TCFUA was the right fit for the CFMEU.
“The TCFUA is a campaigning union. It has campaigned around protecting and advancing the interests of some of the most vulnerable people in the community, particularly outworkers,” he said.