NSW CFMEU officials have rejected police allegations that they received illegal payments from a building construction company. Jim McIlroy reports.
Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption
I’ve been a Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) member for 15 years and I cannot remember a time when the union was not portrayed as a pack of gangster-like thugs, who standover "innocent" bosses.
Somehow the nature of a tough, multi-billion dollar industry with a history of being the most dangerous in the country always gets lost in the propaganda.
So imagine my delight, along with tens of thousands of other CFMEU members, when blackmail charges against union officials John Setka and Shaun Reardon were dropped on May 16.
Blackmail charges brought against Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) leaders John Setka and Shaun Reardon were dropped by Victorian prosecutors on May 16 in a major embarrassment for the federal government’s trade union royal commission, police and prosecutors.
Tony Abbott was elected in 2013 on the “promise” that the Coalition’s proposed industrial relations legislation, Work Choices, was “dead, buried and cremated”.
Of course, few workers genuinely believed that an incoming Coalition government would keep its word. Certainly, construction workers knew it was only a matter of time before they were in the firing line.
In all the media hype about Malcolm Turnbull's recalling of parliament in April and talk of a double dissolution election, it is easy to lose sight of the “trigger” — the Australian Building and Construction Commission bill (ABCC bill). I recently heard an ABC Radio National commentator talking about the use of the ABCC bill as the trigger.
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