Right to civil liberties
In February 2021, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) brought criminal cartel charges against the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and against the CFMEU-ACT secretary, Jason O’Mara.
On 17 August 2021, the commonwealth director of public prosecutions rejected the charges.
This was the third recent criminal prosecution that the ACCC had brought against the CFMEU, using the Consumer and Competition Act to attack the right of trade unions to collectively bargain. In 2012 and 2013, the ACCC had alleged that the CFMEU-ACT had tried to induce local steel fixers and scaffolders to set a minimum price to afford a wage rise. This, according to the ACCC, amounted to cartel behaviour. For the CFMEU, the ACCC has engaged in the blatant victimisation of trade union leader Jason O'Mara, who went through three years of trial by media and attack on his character.