Mining division president Tony Maher said the decision was a disappointing setback but vowed to keep pursuing a vote to leave the CFMMEU, from which the mining division is already operating autonomously.
“Members around the country have indicated their strong support for moving forward as an independent Mining and Energy Union,” Mr Maher said. ”We are committed to giving all members a vote on this issue.“
The CFMMEU’s national construction secretary, Dave Noonan, called on the mining and energy division to accept the commission’s decision and resolve disputes within the union, rather than through the process created by the Coalition.
“They are not the friends of workers, as their drive to casualise our industries shows,” Mr Noonan said. “We all need to focus on the issues confronting members: job security, safety, wages and conditions. This can best be achieved by a union of 100,000 plus members, not by splitting our strength.”
Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said the case showed the divisions within the CFMMEU and noted the mining division could still withdraw using the new method.
“It’s not surprising that parts of the CFMMEU want to disassociate themselves from the persistent lawlessness promoted by many individuals within that union,” Senator Cash said.
On Tuesday Mr Setka defended himself against another allegation from his now-estranged wife, Emma Walters, that he had assaulted her last month by hitting her head against a table five times following an argument.
On ABC Radio in Melbourne Mr Setka described the allegations as “false”.
“I have not been charged …over the years there has been many, many allegations made against me which always amount to nothing, that’s about all I can say,” he said.
“I walk around, I hold my head up high, I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, I’ve done nothing wrong.”