In any self-respecting democracy, the CFMEU would be treated as an outcast by politicians on all sides.
But not in Queensland. Here it
has unfettered access to the Palaszczuk Government, and its ministers go in to bat for the union whenever its appalling behaviour hits the headlines.
What does Labor get out of it?
Well, the CFMEU has given $598,000 to Queensland Labor since 2014. The union also lends the party a massive hand by running pro-Labor advertising campaigns, and even
puts the party's election candidates on its payroll.
This grubby deal has to stop, and I'm pleased that former Labor leaders such as Peter Beattie and Kevin Rudd have called for the party to distance itself from the CFMEU.
But in Brisbane, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) keeps cashing the cheques.
Labor argues that because it's been openly bought by the union, there is no problem. After all, it is the "workers' party" and workers support unions, right?
Wrong. Less than 10 per cent of people in the construction industry, which is routinely held to ransom by the CFMEU, belong to any union.
And how many of the CFMEU's members were pressured to join by its strongarm tactics in the first place?
I have no objection to responsible trade unions. They have won many rights for Australian workers and still have an important role to play in our society. They have a right to be heard – just as employers do.
But no union or employer has the right to bully others and break the law with impunity.
The CFMEU is a rogue organisation and it should be cut loose by Labor. Its ugly leadership will never mend its ways until
Annastacia Palaszczuk has to
stop excusing criminality and intimidation, and stop accepting donations from this union.
It's time for Labor to stop selling its soul to the CFMEU – for its own sake and for the sake of Queensland.
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