Nov 24, 2020

Shake-up for construction and mining union

Shake-up for construction and mining union

A major CFMMEU rift has seen the Mining and Energy Division opt to operate autonomously as national president Tony Maher quits.

In a member update, Mr Maher said a meeting of the Central Council had made some important decisions regarding the direction of the Mining and Energy Division within the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union.

Resolutions were passed with unanimous support to:

  • Offer support and appreciation to outgoing national secretary Michael O’Connor and condemn the actions of those who undermined his leadership; and
  • Direct the Mining and Energy Division to withdraw involvement in CFMMEU forums and activities and operate as an autonomous union in the interests of its members.

“As a result of these decisions, I have today tendered my resignation as national president of the CFMMEU,” Mr Maher wrote.

Tony Maher.

“I remain fully committed to my role as general president of the Mining and Energy Division.

“Our general secretary Grahame Kelly has also resigned his position as national vice-president of the CFMMEU.

“Our representatives will not participate in the CFMMEU National Executive for the foreseeable future.

“My view, shared by our Central Council, is that there is no benefit in continuing in a national leadership role in circumstances where our biggest division has decided to simply use its numbers to bully and steamroll smaller divisions.”

The CFMMEU had become impossibly divided and dysfunctional, with no repair in sight, he said.

The CFMMEU has about 65,000 members in construction, 9,000 in manufacturing, 25,000 in mining and 12,000 in maritime after the merger with the Maritime Union of Australia two years ago.

Mr O’Connor’s resignation on November 5 followed conflict with construction and maritime division officials, including Victorian secretary John Setka.