Fair Work Commission Rejects Appeal Against Union Merger

A decision by the full bench of the Fair Work Commission on Friday rejected the appeal by AMMA and MBA Ltd to overturn an earlier ruling approving the merger of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union and the Maritime Union of Australia.

Master Builders and the Australian Mines and Metals Association said last night they would review yesterday’s decision and consider their legal options.

Master Builders said construction employers across Australia would be disappointed by the decision

Australian Mines and Metals Association chief executive Steve Knott has said his organisation had the support of members to litigate future appeal proceedings, including a High Court challenge if necessary.

Under the merger, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union­, and the Maritime Union of Australia, two of the nation’s most militant ­unions have joined to become a 144,000-member super union, with combined assets of $310 million and annual revenue of $146m.

The Turnbull government is lobbying Senate crossbenchers to support a bill to subject union mergers to a public interest test.

Employers have criticised the government for not getting the bill passed before the commission approved the merger earlier this year.

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