In comments to the AFR the Minister for Industrial Relations Christian Porter has made it clear that the goal of the Morrison Government is to attack the internationally recognised right of working people to run their own unions, and freely represent working people.
The Minister has explicitly stated that the Ensuring Integrity Bill is specifically designed to give the Morrison Government the power to deregister the CFMMEU and other unions.
The EI bill would give the Minister, employers, or any other party with a ‘sufficient interest’ the power to intervene in the running and work of unions, disqualify people from union leadership, block union mergers and deregister unions.
The Ensuring Integrity Bill adds to what is already a highly regulated union movement and goes further than any other western democracy in intervening in union autonomy.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“Following the recent raids on journalists this is another disturbing authoritarian step by this Government. It is an attack on basic democratic freedoms and independence that the Australian people are rightly proud of.
“Let’s be very clear, Mr Porter is seeking to revoke the basic rights of all working people in Australia to join, run and be represented by the union of their choice.
“Unions are democratic organisations and attacking them hurts all working people.
“This law will undermine workplace safety, increase wage and superannuation theft and make it harder for workers to get pay increases and be represented when they need help.
“This Bill introduces harsher and more rigorous requirements than on any other organisation in society including corporations.
“These is no equivalent to the EI bill anywhere in the western world.
“The Morrison Government has no plan to stop systematic wage theft and exploitation by corporations, no plan to create secure jobs, only a plan to attack workers organisations.
“The Minister is being blatantly politically opportunistic.
“The ACTU and the entire union movement will continue to oppose this legislation and fight against this attack on the rights of all Australians.”