Claims by newly installed ACTU secretary Sally McManus that the CFMEU was repeatedly breaking the law in response to workplace fatalities have been exposed as baseless.
Last week on the ABC 7.30 programme, Ms McManus made the extraordinary claim that it was acceptable for unions to break laws they disagreed with.
To justify this position she claimed that the CFMEU broke workplace laws when responding to workplace fatalities.
"Quite often these workers have stopped when a worker has been killed on a building site."
Data published in today’s Australian newspaper shows that of the 47 current matters before the courts involving alleged unlawful industrial action and right of entry breaches by CFMEU officials, none of them were in direct response to a workplace fatality.
Any workplace death is a tragic and serious matter. Employers and unions have a responsibility to do all they can to prevent such tragedies occurring. These incidents should never be trivialised through bogus justifications for unlawful behaviour.
It is unfortunate that using safety as an excuse to justify unlawful behaviour has become a notorious tactic of the CFMEU.
The facts of the matter are that the CFMEU has a shameful record of repeatedly breaking the law.
There are currently 110 CFMEU representatives before the courts facing a total of 1076 suspected contraventions.
Bill Shorten says that the Labor Party does not support law breaking.
This statement is completely discredited by Labor’s continued willingness to be bankrolled by a corrupt law breaking union.
It is unconscionable that Bill Shorten and the Australian Labor Party are supported and financed by such an organisation.
Since Bill Shorten became leader of the Labor Party, Labor has accepted over $3 million from the CFMEU - an organisation that clearly believes it is above the law.
This association must end immediately.
Bill Shorten must now make a decision: Does he stand for the rule of law, or will he continue to allow the Labor Party to be financed by the CFMEU – an organisation that believes it is above the law? He cannot do both.