Anger as union cuts  jobs
Concern: Union members are upset at job cuts. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

The building union is facing a backlash for cutting staff jobs, with the redundancies linked to multimillion-dollar fines, legal costs incurred for unlawful conduct and spending on refurbishments and properties.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union would not say how many redundancies there had been at its East Perth office this week, but The West Australian understands at least three people have lost their jobs in a restructure.

This includes the union's wage claim officer Rod Reynolds, son of former secretary Kevin Reynolds, who ran the union for 37 years. Some members have used social media to express concerns about the job cuts, which come at a time of growing union membership.

The CFMEU had a 50 per cent boost in members in the past 16 months, surging to 14,508.

The union has incurred more than $1.1 million in fines from industrial regulator Fair Work Building and Construction in the past eight years, excluding legal fees.

Of that total, the union's assistant secretary Joe McDonald has been ordered to personally pay $194,000, though the union has previously revealed it paid all his penalties and legal costs.

The CFMEU has also forked out big amounts on property and refurbishments in the past year.

Some members yesterday questioned why the militant union had decided to cut jobs.

"It isn't in the spirit of unionism, so you have to ask why they've done this," said CFMEU member Greg, who wants his last name withheld.

"It doesn't make sense."

It is understood that Rod Reynolds was told on Wednesday that he would have to accept a redundancy package because his job had been abolished in a restructure.

Mr Buchan would not comment yesterday and Mr McDonald did not return calls.

The West Australian

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