Resource industry employer group AMMA has called on the Federal Government to deregister the CFMEU and the MUA after the unions this week threatened crippling and unlawful strikes at a national level.
AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said government, employers and the broader community need to stand united.
“These threats are an attempt to coerce prosecutors into dropping charges against 101 construction employees being pursued over illegal strikes in Perth in 2013,” Mr Knott said.
“The threats must be scrutinised by the government and condemned by the leadership of the ALP and ACTU. We cannot allow any group in our society to continually break the law and then threaten illegal strike action to force a government regulator to back down.
“It is beyond belief that in the 21st Century the CFMEU, MUA and their respective members are oblivious to the fact that illegal industrial action may result in organisational and/or individual prosecutions and fines.
Mr Knott said “an avalanche of evidence” in recent months has highlighted that it may be time to take away the privileges these organisations receive as registered industrial organisations.
“These privileges include default bargaining representation rights, extensive powers to enter worksites, special standing before the Fair Work Commission, and lesser fines and penalties than corporations,” he said.
“The threat from the CFMEU and the MUA is also the first sign of the damage that will be created by the planned amalgamation of the two unions. Legal action against construction employees has nothing to do with the maritime industry or the employers and wider community that will be harmed by any MUA strikes in support of their law-breaking mates at the CFMEU.
“It is 2015, not the 1970s. If the militant minority of Australia’s trade union movement continually refuses to recognise this, they strengthen the case of those who argue that deregistration is the only way to end their calculated and contemptuous law breaking.”