Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia




The true extent of the Labor Government’s reliance on their union paymasters was laid bare today with the release of the Australian Electoral Commission’s annual returns, showing unions gave them $16.7 million last financial year.

The returns show the militant CFMMEU donated $4.3 million to the Labor Party.

Other Labor Party union donors revealed in the annual returns included the SDA (almost $3 million), UWU ($2.6 million), CEPU ($2.2 million), AMWU ($888,000) and CPSU ($649,000)

On top of the $16.7 million in donations to Labor, the unions spent an additional $22 million on political campaigning.

“What the returns show is the price the unions are willing to pay to get their demands met by the Albanese Government,’’ Senator Cash said.

“The money comes in and the policy pay offs are delivered – it is a paid protection racket that would make Al Capone proud,’’ Senator Cash said

“The CFMMEU’s money delivered the biggest reward of all with the Albanese Government abolishing the Australian Building and Construction Commission as one of their first acts in power,’’ she said.

“The CFMMEU gave them so much money the Labor Party should be considered a wholly-owned subsidiary of the militant union,’’ she said.

While the ABCC was shut down we continued to see evidence of the thuggish behaviour by the CFMMEU as cases launched before they were neutered proceeded through the courts.

In July the Federal Circuit and Family Court fined the CFMMEU and two of its officials $151,200 for right of entry breaches on the Queensland Cross River Rail project. The officials had used disgusting homophobic slurs, calling a safety advisor a “pumpkin eater”.

In September Federal Court judge David O’Callaghan fined the union and three officials a total of $495,000 for organising unlawful industrial action at the Melbourne Veterinary School project site.

And just two weeks ago Federal Court Justice Anna Katzmann increased a fine imposed in 2020 against the CFMMEU and three officials, for unlawful picketing on a Canberra building site, from $126,000 to $180,000 after an appeal from the ABCC.

Other unions have been handsomely rewarded for their donations with the Albanese Government ramming through their radical industrial relations laws late last year.

“We are already seeing unions across multiple industries lining up to take advantage of the multi-employer bargaining provisions in that diabolical legislation,’’ Senator Cash said.

“Multi-employer bargaining was demanded by the union movement and delivered by the Albanese Government a matter of months later,’’ she said.

Senator Cash said this was only the start of Labor delivering for their union paymasters.

“This year we will see an all-out attack on flexible working arrangements, the gig economy and the labour hire system,’’ Senator Cash said.

“What will happen is the cost of doing business will rise and businesses will not survive,’’ she said.

“Many of the measures which empower the unions will also threaten investment in this nation, especially for large resources projects that deliver billions of dollars in revenue for the country,’’ she said.

“We are also seeing the unions demand the right to charge bargaining fees to non-union workers, which is a direct attack on these workers’ right of freedom of association,’’ she said.

“This Government will do anything to deliver for their union paymasters and we can only expect more and more demands as the money continues to flow,’’ Senator Cash said.