Union’s extraordinary blast as it quits Labor faction
The powerful CFMEU has quit Queensland's Labor's Left Faction.
In a statement issued this morning, the union said both the Mining and the Construction divisions have decided they can be "more effective advocates for workers as a voice totally independent of a faction that has lost touch with its core values."
"The leadership vacuum in the left has seen a once powerful voice for working Queenslanders atrophy to the point where today it is little more than a creche for party hacks," union boss Michael Ravbar said in the statement.
The union has publicly criticised Cross River Rail in recent months, while having also taken aim at the project's Minister Kate Jones.
CFMEU Queensland boss Michael Ravbar. Picture: Mark Cranitch.
Mr Ravbar slammed the powerful Faction, claiming the leadership has consistently devoted more energy to "internal intrigues and power plays" than to driving a policy platform.
"Quite simply the so-called left faction is now merely an impotent and self-serving echo chamber for a cabal of Peel Street elite who have totally lost touch with their working class roots," he said.
"While the CFMEU will remain affiliated with the ALP, the union will be a more potent force free of any formal factional links."
"Our only factional alignment is with the interests of our members."
Mr Ravbar claimed the faction had become "little more than a protection racket for dud members such as Jackie Trad", who he claimed as Deputy Premier "bears much of the blame for the failure to look after workers interests' even on major projects such as Cross River Rail".
The union quit the Left for at least an hour in 2017 when it walked out on the faction during Labor's state conference over a motion being moved by the Electrical Trades Union.
The CFMEU also split with the Queensland Council of Unions in 2017, alleging the body had not been supportive enough of its campaign for the Government to introduce industrial manslaughter laws.
The Courier-Mail understands tensions have been simmering for months, with the CFMEU annoyed ETU's candidate Lance McCallum was preselected for Bundamba earlier this year.
Originally published as Union's extraordinary blast as it quits Labor faction