Empowering Lawless Unions
Empowering lawless unions is a step toward disempowering the rest of us.
In the honeymoon of government a lot of things happen that may go unnoticed by lots of people.
Those that do follow politics closely may think that if something doesn’t impact them directly then it is of no consequence.
Unfortunately that’s not always the case. Particularly when a principle is applied (or abandoned) in one particular policy area.
It’s the portent of things to come as you can bet that the same ideological approach will be rolled out across more policy battlegrounds.
That’s why anyone that supports free enterprise and wants more freedom should be concerned by the Labor government decision to effectively abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
The ABCC is the cop on the construction beat to prevent rogue and lawless union activity on building sites.
Even a cursory understanding of what has been going on there will tell you why it is necessary.
The High Court found earlier this year that the primary building union – the CFMMEU – was a “serial offender” who “engage in whatever action, and make whatever threats, it wishes, without regard to the law”
- had contravened laws on “approximately 150 occasions”
- was “well-resourced, having more than sufficient means to pay any penalty that the court might have been disposed to impose”
- treated penalties for serious breaches of the law as just a “cost of doing business.”
In my words, they (the CFMMEU) simply don’t care about the law.
They consider themselves to be a law unto themselves.
We’ve had two Royal Commissions that have identified systemic unlawful behaviour and now the High Court has rendered its judgment.
The findings include physical and verbal violence, threats, intimidation, abuse of rights of entry permits, secondary boycotts, breaches of fiduciary duty and contempt of court.
None of that seems to matter to the Labor government.
That could have something to do with the $16.3 million the CFMMEU has provided to Labor over the past 20 years. That’s about the same amount the CFMMEU has paid in fines in recent years.
But if it doesn’t matter to Labor, why should it matter to you?
Well construction is an important industry for Australia. It’s our fifth largest in terms of GDP and employs over 1.1 million of us.
Industry insiders estimate removing the ABCC to police lawless union thugs would see costs rise and productivity fall. This could result in a $47.5 billion dollar economic decline in just the next eight years.
That’s going to hurt all of us.
But there is a broader issue than just the economic pain and uncompetitiveness.
When you look at the track record of the CFMMEU; no caring Australian can excuse the vile, misogynistic and homophobic behaviour in any workplace.
The Unions boss, John Setka has been found guilty of harassment on multiple occasions.
Union officials have been caught allegedly cursing at, spitting at, threatening to gang rape and even kill women.
This is just the kind of appalling behavior the ABCC was going after and if that’s not bad enough, a recent judgment found CFMMEU organisers guilty of vile homophobic abuse.
Judge Vasta of the Federal Circuit and Family Court found that organisers for the CFMMEU used homophobic slurs while also contravening the Fair Work Act.
These were terms would be unfamiliar to many of us but Judge Vasta felt he had to actually had to define them in his judgment.
Here’s part of what he said:
There was some consternation at the Bar table when I expressed that the term “pumpkin eater” was a homophobic slur. Counsel, who may have had a somewhat sheltered existence, did not understand that this term could be used in this manner.
At the hearing, I did not wish to explain what the term means because it is quite disgusting and I believed that the use of this term was common enough knowledge. I have absolutely no doubt that it was meant as a homophobic slur...
If you'd like to read the full judgement or even know what Judge Vasta was referring to, you can do so below.
WARNING: The annexure defining the term is not for the faint of heart!
Have you heard anything about this from the left rainbow lobby who are always so keen to take offence?
No, neither have I.
Regardless of Lefty hypocrisy, no-one should have to be subject to homophobic slurs in any work environment.
It's clear that court imposed fines do nothing to deter the CFMMEU bullies.
We have to have a tough cop on the beat. That cop was the ABCC and it has now been emasculated by the Labor government.
As I said, the principle here is what we should pay attention to.
Empowering lawless unions and thuggish behaviour is a step toward disempowering the rest of us.