Australia's powerful construction union is gearing up for a brawl with the Morrison government after the prime minister threatened to shut it down.
Scott Morrison is considering deregistering the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union after voicing his disgust with a Victorian official using his children to campaign against the building industry watchdog.
CFMMEU Victorian official John Setka posted a picture of his children holding a sign saying 'Go get f*#*ed' with the caption "Leave our dads alone and go catch the real criminals you cowards".
He later deleted the tweet, admitting he shouldn't have included his kids and saying he was emotional on Father's Day after a tough year on his family.
The union's national construction secretary Dave Noonan said the CFMMEU would vigorously resist any attempts to deregister it.
He accused Mr Morrison of trying to distract from problems within the Liberal Party.
"It's disappointing but not surprising that a broken and divided government is resurrecting the CFMMEU bogeyman in an attempt to frighten voters," Mr Noonan said.
He said the prime minister had nothing to say about the alleged criminal behaviour of banks, along with stagnant wages and the death toll in the construction industry.
"And now he wants to leave construction workers with no representation," Mr Noonan said.
Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O'Dwyer said the government would "consider all options" on the future of the CFMMEU.
"John Setka's use of his own children in an obscene image to target the hardworking officials of the Australian Building and Construction Commission is beyond the pale," she said.
Ms O'Dwyer called on Labor to support a bill before the Senate which would allow unions to be deregistered for widespread lawlessness.
"Labor should stand up for Australian workers, not law-breaking union thugs," she said.
The legislation would also see union mergers, like the CFMMEU's amalgamation with the maritime union earlier in the year, subject to a public interest test.
Australian Associated Press
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