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Union movement expecting a ‘malicious’ government attack

Union officials say they’re bracing for a hostile government attack on the union movement, after the Liberal party triumph at the weekend.

Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council, Luke Hilakari, told Neil Mitchell there is a pattern of Liberal government attacks against unions after an election win.

“Usually when the Liberal party gets elected, or every time for the last four prime ministers that have come through, they’ve done a royal commission into the union movement,” he said.

“We know what that’s about.”

Neil Mitchell asked Mr Hilakari if he is expecting a malicious government attack against the union movement.

“I suspect so, yes,” Mr Hilakari said.

“Institutions like the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) … I would have thought they would have more powers. We are quite disappointed if we have a death on site the ABCC doesn’t come out and do their work, but if we wear a sticker on our hard hat we get investigated. I think things like that will increase,” he said.

But Mr Hilakari said unions will continue to fight for their cause.

“There is still a lot on the table that we need to fight for.”

“This was the first election I’ve ever seen where the Liberal party didn’t have an industrial relations policy … I think that means they don’t have a mandate to roll more things back for working people,” he said.

Press PLAY below to hear Luke Hilakari on air with Neil Mitchell.