Blackmail charges against two construction union bosses have been dropped but federal jobs minister Michaelia Cash says the decision doesn't damage the union royal commission's legacy.
CFMEU Victoria leaders John Setka and Shaun Reardon were fighting allegations they blackmailed Boral managers Paul Dalton and Peter Head at a coffee shop meeting in Melbourne in April 2013.
But prosecutors dropped the charges during a pre-trial committal hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
Senator Cash was asked if the decision was embarrassing for the coalition government, which had pursued the CFMEU through the royal commission and the courts.
"Absolutely not. That is a matter for the Victorian police," Senator Cash told reporters on Wednesday.
"The CFMEU are without (doubt) one of the most notorious, in fact, they are the most notorious union in Australia. I think we're up to about $14 million in fines."
Mr Setka and Mr Reardon were charged in 2015 after an investigation by a joint Victorian and federal police unit, following a referral from the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.
Outside the court on Wednesday, the pair's legal team called them innocent men who were the victims of a distortion of evidence.
"It was definitely a witch-hunt," Mr Setka told reporters.
Senator Cash said the decision had not damaged the legacy of the royal commission, which was ordered under former Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott.
"Absolutely not. Because at the end of the day, royal commissions provide evidence, as we've all seen," she said.
"The government responds to that evidence by way of implementing policy. That is exactly what the Turnbull government did."