May 10, 2021
The first court hearing for the Mining and Energy Division’s application for a member ballot to withdraw from the CFMMEU has been set for 8 June.
The Construction-dominated CFMMEU national office has flagged it will try and prevent the ballot from proceeding.
Their first argument concerns the relevant date of amalgamation relied in the ballot application – whether that it is 2018 when the MUA and TCFUA joined to form the CFMMEU, or the original amalgamation to form the CFMEU in 1992.
The Mining and Energy Division has argued the 2018 date is relevant under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act.
Arguments on this threshold issue will be heard by a full bench of the Fair Work Commission on 8 June and the outcome will determine the timeline and nature of proceedings.
General President Tony Maher said the Mining and Energy Division’s ballot application reflected the wishes of its democratically elected decision-making forums.
“Our Central Council and National Convention have unanimously endorsed applying for a member ballot to determine whether our Division remains part of the CFMMEU or leaves to form an independent mining and energy union.
“This important decision belongs in the hands of Mining and Energy members. Other Divisions should not be trying to thwart the democratic rights of our members by throwing legal obstacles in the way.
“I anticipate that attempts at obstruction by other Divisions will only make our members more determined to be heard.”
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For those interested in following the legal proceedings, the Fair Work Commission has set up a website for documentation relating to the ballot application: https://www.fwc.gov.au/cases-decisions-orders/major-cases/ballot-withdrawal-me-division-from-cfmmeu