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Withdrawal ballot: your questions answered

April 27, 2023

MEU Member holding a sign saying 'I'm writing yes'

A ballot of all members on withdrawing from the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) will open on 17 May. Members will receive information soon about how they can vote. We answer your FAQs below.

Why are we voting?

The Mining and Energy Union applied to the Fair Work Commission for a ballot of members to withdraw from the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) and become an independently registered organisation.

In April 2023, the Fair Work Commission approved our application.

Our National Convention in 2021 unanimously endorsed applying for a withdrawal ballot. While we have faced numerous legal delays and challenges, we have persisted in pursuing a ballot in line with the strong wishes of members expressed through our democratic structures including National Convention, Central Council and District Boards of Management.

Who can vote?

All financial members of the Mining and Energy Division as at 3 April 2023 are eligible to vote in the ballot. All eligible members are encouraged to have their say. Members of other Divisions of the CFMMEU do not get a vote.

When can we vote?

The ballot is open from 17 May to 19 June 2023. For members voting by postal ballot, your ballot paper must be mailed to arrive no later than 5pm on Monday 19 June. We advise posting it no later than 12 June, to ensure it arrives in time.

Would leaving the CFMMEU affect our membership, elections or Lodge activities?

No. Under the withdrawal process, if Mining and Energy Division Members support leaving the CFMMEU then all of our Division’s members automatically transfer to the new Union. It is not necessary to conduct new elections for District or Lodge officials. All existing Enterprise Agreements would remain in place and current union activities and structures continue.
While there will be little change for members on the ground, independence gives us more control over our future and ensures all our resources are directed to Mining and Energy members.

What would a new union be called?

The new union will be called the Mining and Energy Union and we will retain our existing logo and branding.
In 2022, following a strong vote from Lodges, we changed our Divisional rules so that we could be known as the Mining and Energy Union, even though we are legally still a Division of the CFMMEU.

What are the next steps?

If a majority of members support leaving the CFMMEU in the ballot, the Mining and Energy Union will apply to the Federal Court seeking orders to transfer assets to the newly registered union and fix a withdrawal date before the end of 2023.

What will happen to the CFMMEU if our Division withdraws?

We have agreed on withdrawal terms with the CFMMEU, including rules of each organisation. The remaining Divisions will continue to be amalgamated as the Construction Forestry Maritime Employees Union (CFMEU). We will work constructively with the CFMEU as we do with other unions across the movement where our members have shared interests.

Where can I find out more?

Information including the ‘scheme of withdrawal’, rules of the new MEU and CFMEU and further background material can be found at If you have any questions about the ballot process please contact Designated Officer Shane Thompson at [email protected].

MEU Member holding a sign saying 'I'm writing yes'

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