16 August 2017

Master Builders commends the Government’s move to ensure that unions and union officials are more accountable and act in the interests of their members.

The introduction of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2017 to the Parliament this morning contains a series of measures identified as necessary and recommended by the Heydon Royal Commission.

The measures include new rules to ensure there are consequences for officials and unions who deliberately break the law, fail to act in members' interests or are otherwise not fit and proper to hold office.

Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said, “Unions expect their activities to be protected by the community’s laws, so it’s entirely appropriate that they respect those laws and comply with them.”

“The Heydon Royal Commission brought to light numerous instances where unions and employers acted to deliberate undermine the interests of workers, or in their own interests. The community deserves better,” she said.

If passed the Bill would also introduce a public interest test that would apply to mergers of unions and employer groups before they are given the green light.

"Many of the recommendations in the Heydon Royal Commission came about because of evidence in the building and construction industry. The more than one million contractors, sub-contractors, small family businesses and apprentices who work in our industry want normal workplaces and normal unions. This Bill is one more step toward making this a reality,” Denita Wawn said. 

Ends...