The recent election of officials in the powerful CFMMEU was above board, amid ructions at the highest levels of the union’s leadership, the Federal Court has ruled.
Union official Arturo Menon alleged election officers wrongly prevented three Victorian candidates from running, and excluded 83 union members from voting, in the union’s July poll.
Mr Menon, who stood for election on a “Members First” ticket, is the manufacturing division secretary for Queensland, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia, and is aligned with controversial Victorian construction division secretary John Setka.
Mr Setka was convicted of harassing his wife in 2019, causing deep divisions at the highest levels of the union.
Justice Michael Wheelahan said on Monday he was not persuaded there had been any irregularities in the running of the July poll, in which eight officials were elected.
The majority of the 83 members excluded from voting were timber workers based in New South Wales, while the three candidates unable to stand were Victorian members Kylie Brown, Benjamin Smart, and Adam Tester.
The trio had previously resigned from the manufacturing division and moved across to the construction and general division, before returning to the manufacturing arm ahead of the election.
The ruling follows another court fight between national union secretary Michael O’Connor and Mr Setka, along with his allies in the construction division.
Mr O’Connor won an action alleging that a mass resignation of members from the manufacturing arm in order to join the construction division was against the union’s rules.
The election matter before Justice Wheelahan will return to court later this month.