The Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union’s mining and energy division has carried a unanimous resolution to split from the militant union, citing “macho posturing and chest beating”.
About 300 delegates representing mining and energy workers from around Australia voted on Monday to support an application to withdraw from the CFMMEU.
General president of the union’s mining and energy division, Tony Maher said dysfunction within the union’s national leadership had seen “personal vendettas take priority over effective management of the union”.
“There is no longer a place for us in the CFMMEU,” Mr Maher said in a statement on Monday.
“Remaining a part of this amalgamation is not in the best interests of our mining and energy members.
“This is a tough decision, but we are well placed to move into the future as a stand-alone Mining and Energy Union.”
Mr Maher said the application to withdraw from the CFMMEU under the Fair Work Act will take several months and be subject to a lengthy legal process.
“The structure of the amalgamated union once served us well, but that ceased to be the case some time ago,” the resolution carried at the national convention on Monday, stated.
“The ruthless use of raw numbers against the smaller divisions; the disrespect and disregard shown to the views of mining and energy workers; and the public undermining of our former national secretary to settle a personal score, is simply intolerable.
“It is clear that there is no longer a place of equality and dignity for the mining and energy division within the amalgamated union.
“Moreover, when we consider the case for staying in the amalgamated union it is extremely weak. There is nothing of substance that the broader amalgamated union can offer us.
“Once it could offer serious political influence and a campaigning capacity that was used to benefit the position of all Australian workers, including mining and energy workers.
“Now there is just macho posturing and chest beating. It is a sad observation, but the amalgamated union has never been less respected.
“We are better off striking our own path. We have the resources, capacity and most importantly, the support of our members to do so.
“We have the opportunity to grow our union and cement its reputation as an organisation that puts the interests of its members first and foremost, always,” the statement said.