by David Bates

Every so often a commercial television station or glossy magazine will feature a story about a ‘dream job’. Usually it’s a caretaker vacancy on a tropical island, or a luxury travel writer position that pays a six figure salary.

Well, those jobs have nothing on the position now being offered by one our country’s most notorious unions.

Yes, the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Engineering Union (CFMEU for short) is currently looking for a new Industrial Officer. In case you’re not familiar with union jargon, this is the union official responsible for representing the union (and its members) at the nation’s industrial relations tribunal, the Fair Work Commission.

Union industrial officers also represent members during disputes with ‘the bosses’ and, as per the CFMEU’s job ad, they also ‘provide accurate and timely industrial relations advice to members and officials of the union, including about legislation’.

The sheer irony of this union looking for someone to provide advice about the law cannot be adequately described in words.

The CFMEU is the union named and shamed by the final report of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. It’s the union which, just a few weeks ago, had more than 100 of its officials facing more than 1000 offences in various state and territory industrial tribunals and courts. And it’s the union which is routinely accused of engaging in outrageous workplace thuggery.

Let’s be very clear: there are plenty of decent, hard-working members in this union, and plenty of decent, law-abiding CFMEU officials as well. They must all be constantly shaking their head at their union’s consistent disregard for the rule of law which was so shamefully laid bare by the Royal Commission.

So, back to the dream job…

Can you imagine how much fun you’d have as this Union’s Industrial Officer! When you’re asked what the law says about threatening and intimidating people you can just say: ‘Who cares!’.

When you’re asked if you’re free to help out a member with something you can respond with ‘No, sorry, I have a hundred officials facing 1000 charges, so I’m a little snowed under right now, bye’.

When you’re asked to stay back and work on an important piece of advice you can chuckle as you continue packing your briefcase and say ‘We work a 35 hour week here and I’m on flexi-time, so see you next week!’

No shortage of interesting work, great pay and conditions, and no need to worry about that pesky thing called the law. Sign me up!