The Australian Mines and Metals Association has welcomed the Coalition’s commitment to crackdown on trade union corruption and criminal activities.
AMMA CEO Steve Knott said it will protect employees and businesses from intimidation, safeguard union members “being ripped off by corrupt officials” and ensuring taxpayers are not overcharged for new infrastructure.
“This is particularly vital for the future of Australia’s resource industry, with $255 billion of uncommitted project investment in the balance. A tougher stance against unlawful union behaviour is vital to converting this potential into jobs, economic growth and the taxes and royalties that fund hospitals, roads, schools and services,” he said.
“Extending effective legal enforcement to offshore resource projects is particularly welcome. Offshore construction has seen unsustainable cost escalations, inflexible working arrangements and major delays to protect approvals due to a flawed workplace system and militant union tactics.
“Not other country allows trade unions to so openly hold ransom multi-billion dollar projects of significant national importance. Australia must address these important issues if we are to thrive in a globalised, ultra-competitive investment environment and deliver jobs and growth for our future.”
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has committed to adopting most of the recommendations identified by the the Heydon Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, as well as to the creation of a new Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) that will ensure trade unions adhere to proper governance and accountability standards.
Knott went on to say that, together with the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), the Royal Commissions recommendations will no longer tolerate illegal and threatening behaviour from union members and leaders.
“The Heydon Royal Commission exposed the dark underbelly of Australia’s union movement. While most unionists honestly represent their members, too many wilfully break our laws, ignore our courts, and pursue personal gain at the expense of their members,” he said.
“This cannot be allowed to continue. Today’s commitment is a significant step in the right direction.”