‘Massive assault’ if Labor had won
A QUEENSLAND building industry leader has revealed that there had been fears of a disruptive industrial campaign by the CFMMEU if Labor had won the federal election, and urged the Opposition to dump one particular policy before the next poll.
It has prompted the industry to urge Labor to drop its policy of abolishing the construction watchdog, the Australian Building and Construction Commission, without replacing it.
Labor's new Industrial Relations spokesman Tony Burke said the party was reviewing all its policies taken to last month's election, but would not comment on its plans to scrap the ABCC specifically.
Master Builders Queensland boss Grant Galvin said there was talk in the industry that the CFMMEU had been planning a major campaign, including widespread industrial action, in an attempt to reunionise many construction sites if the watchdog was abolished.
He said it was believed top-tier construction companies without union EBA's were to be targeted.
"We knew in Queensland they were gearing up for a massive assault on the industry, but that never came to fruition," he said.
"Without the ABCC, unions, particularly in Queensland, would have had free rein of right of entry and on construction sites."
Mr Galvin said it showed why Labor needed to make it clear where it stood on the policy well before the next election.
"Labor can bury its head in the sand on the issue, or have a constructive dialogue with the industry about it," he said.
The Opposition's previous industrial relations spokesman Brendan O'Connor, during the election, argued the ABCC had to go, saying it was "unfair, undemocratic and unwarranted".
Labor had previously abolished the ABCC in 2012, but replaced it with the Fair Work Building and Construction Commission which had a broader focus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week confirmed his Government would prioritise reintroducing legislation for courts to deregister unions or officials which repeatedly break laws.