A FINAL appeal against the merger of the Maritime Union with the CFMEU and Textile Union (TCFUA) has been rejected by the Fair Work Commission.
The appeal had been lodged by employer groups the Australian Mines and Metal Association and Master Builders Australia.
In making their case, the AMMA and the MBA argued two of the unions were subject to civil penalty proceedings and a contempt proceeding pending in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
However, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission last week ruled an earlier finding by Deputy President Val Commissioner Gostencnik was correct in saying the merger could not be blocked for failing to meet the requirements of the Registered Organisations Act.
In accordance with the decision, the amalgamation took effect on 27 March 2018 so the MUA and the TCFUA were deregistered and the CFMEU became the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU).
MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said it should be up to union members to decide on mergers.
“The MUA vigorously opposed the appeal and sought to defend the rights of workers seeking to engage in freedom of association,” Mr Crumlin said.
“Our members have overwhelmingly supported this amalgamation and it should be up to them to decide whether they merge.”
Mr Crumlin said bigger could be better.
“Do you think the shipping companies aren’t merging together with the mining companies who are merging together with the transport companies that are merging together with the rail companies that are merging together with retailers?” he said.
MUA deputy national secretary Will Tracey said this was the second time this week the MUA had beaten legal action by “anti-union forces” against the interests of working people.
“The MUA’s legal win against renowned anti-union groups AMMA and the MBA, in addition to the defeat of the Fair Work Ombudsman at Hutchison, is good news for members and shows the benefit of standing up and fighting back against those who don’t want the amalgamated union to proceed,” Mr Tracey said.