The Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) did not have reasonable grounds to raid the offices of the AWU, according to a ruling from the Federal Court this morning.

The ruling also stated that staff from Minister Cash and Minister Keenan’s office leaked details of the raids to the media in an attempt to cause damage to the union movement.

The ROC is a politicised agency set up by this Government to police unions, and under the Ensuring Integrity (EI) Bill their power would be significantly expanded.

The bill would give the ROC the power to commence proceedings to shut down unions and disqualify union leaders based on a single civil breach of the Fair Work Act, like workers protesting the actions of their employer or submitting paperwork late.

This bill is about giving powers to employers that have no precedent or equivalence anywhere else in the developed world and must be opposed.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“This raid wasn’t justified and was used as a political weapon by staff in two Ministerial offices. If the Ensuring Integrity Bill becomes law, the same Registered Organisations Commission who organised these discredited raids, will be given the power over a unions very existance.

“First this Government sets up a politicised body to police and harass unions. Then there are televised police raids on union offices. Now they want new laws to give this same politicised body the power to start action to shut down unions and sack union leaders.

“The so-called Ensuring Integrity Bill must be opposed. It will allow unprecedented harassment of unions and the people workers elect to lead them. It will give employers more power at a time when wage theft is rampant, pay rises are nowhere to be seen and too many people are forced into insecure work.”

“The Morrison Government’s only plan to address these issues is to ramp up their attacks on unions. Make no mistake, this Government, some of their donors and some employers would love to get unions out of the way so they can have free reign.

“The ACTU calls on the crossbench senators to oppose the Ensuring Integrity Bill and have no part in the on-going union bashing agenda of the Government. 

“The senate crossbench must defend the rights of Australian workers and oppose this bill.”