CFMMEU cut up deepens in turf struggle over union members

Turf wars over members are sometimes bitterly fought within the union motion and it’s considered poor behaviour to take members from one other union or department. Underneath their guidelines, each the mining division and building division declare the proper to characterize constructing staff on mine websites.


The development division discover claims to the nationwide government – which it dominates together with its allies – that the union’s members needs to be allotted to the division that companies and maintains the trade award, or “because the nationwide government sees match”.

The combating over members is a part of a tit-for-tat battle, with the development division accusing the mining division of secretly attempting to develop its illustration by an software to the Truthful Work Fee final October. The mining division declined to touch upon the dispute.

It’s the newest turf struggle to engulf the union, which is cut up between mining and manufacturing divisions on one aspect and the bigger building and maritime division on the opposite.

The development division and manufacturing division have separately been in a Federal Court battle after the development division began poaching members over the previous 18 months.


The union has been cut up since detailed leaks from a June 2019 nationwide government assembly, the place Mr Setka stated the work of anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty had led to males having fewer rights.

Since then, Mr Setka has pursued these in his union who he believed had been behind the leaks or who failed in his view to supply him ample help. That features the union’s former nationwide secretary, Michael O’Connor, who was pressured out of his function final yr.

Subsequent week the mining and power division will maintain its nationwide convention, with a vote of about 300 delegates on whether or not the division ought to depart the CFMMEU.

Its departure could be a serious blow to the CFMMEU, with the mining and power division its second-largest element. The manufacturing division may additionally depart in coming months. Mining division common president Tony Maher stated delegates would take into account subsequent week whether or not to withdraw from the CFMMEU.

Mining division president Tony Maher.

Mining division president Tony Maher.

“This may result in all members having a vote on our future as a mining and power union,” he stated. “Nationwide conference is essentially the most democratic discussion board of our union, representing mining and power staff throughout Australia.”

As soon as that happens “we are going to transfer ahead in line with their needs”, Mr Maher stated.

The method has been made doable after the Morrison authorities handed legal guidelines in late 2020 making it far simpler for unions and employer teams to demerge.

Mr Maher held talks with Legal professional-Common Christian Porter earlier than the adjustments, which drew criticism from others within the CFMMEU. Mr Maher beforehand advised members he had not seen the union in “worse form” because it first amalgamated in 1993.

Late final yr, Mr Maher resigned as nationwide president of the broader union, as did different senior mining division figures. Additionally they stopped attending its nationwide government conferences.

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