The CFMEU has set such low standards, it is having difficulty maintaining them
Recidivism: repeating an undesirable behaviour after experiencing its negative consequences
Workplace editor Ewin Hannan reports on the latest findings against the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union in The Australian on Thursday: The nation’s most militant union, the CFMEU, and its officials have been hit with record fines of $2.4 million over an unlawful blockade after the Federal Court found it was “not possible to envisage worse union behaviour”. What could be worse? The Sydney Morning Herald, July 1, last year: Federal Court Justice Christopher Jessup slammed the CFMEU’s exten- sive history of violating workplace law. “The CFMEU’s record of noncompliance with legislation of this kind has now become notorious. That record ought to be an embarrassment to the trade union movement.” Merely an “embarrassment”, so let’s try “deplorable”. Hannan again in The Australian, May 30 this year: A Federal Circuit Court judge has criticised the construction union’s “deplorable history” of law breaking, penalising the union and one of its officials $86,000 for unlawful conduct. Judge Michael Jarrett said today Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union officials needed to be “sent a message” that their first duty was to obey the law rather than follow instructions given by union superiors. That seems a bit tame, so let’s try Victorian state secretary John Setka on ABC’s 7.30, December 7, 2015: My mum used to use a saying. I’ve said it once before. She used to say, “The more you touch shit, the more it smells.” Well that’s (Victoria Police): they are shit. They’re the shit that they are. Reporter Hayden Cooper later in the same 7.30 show: Yesterday Setka was arrested and charged with blackmail along with his deputy Shaun Reardon. The charges relate to the dispute with Grocon, in particular the claim that CFMEU officials tried to blackmail the concrete supplier Boral to stop delivering cement to Grocon sites. Last year the trade union royal commission was told of a meeting between John Setka and Boral (where) the issue was discussed. Bill Shorten, later in the ABC report: The truth of the matter is you didn’t need a royal commission to work this out. You didn’t need to spend $80 million, you didn’t need to engage in the political smears which has been a clear feature of the royal commission’s conduct. So no, this is just sensible. We accept that there needs to be constant and continuous improvement in the governance of trade unions and employer associations, and that’s what we’re offering today. Daniel Meers in The Daily Telegraph, March 3 last year: More than 80 officials from the militant CFMEU are involved in matters before federal courts as part of 60 cases brought on by the Fair Work Commission. Figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph have lifted the lid on widespread allegations of criminal ac- tivity and thuggery on Australian work sites. Multiple cases before the court alleged that construction contractors are breaking workplace laws to buy industrial peace on sites allegedly being targeted by union thuggery. Lessons not learned, it seems. The Herald, June 21 this year: In the speech to an estimated 20,000 protesters, Mr Setka said Australian Building and Construction Commission inspectors should tread carefully, and threatened to expose and shame “the f..kers” by lobbying their neighbours, shopping centres and football clubs. “They will not be able to show their faces anywhere. Their kids will be ashamed of who their parents are.” Shorten responds: I and federal Labor disassociate ourselves from the remarks which were made yesterday. That is not the way to advance your cause.