The MUA state branch says WA Labor has voted to expel former federal resources minister Martin Ferguson after he accepted a job with an industry group.
Labor’s West Australian branch was unanimous in moving to oust former federal resources minister Martin Ferguson from the party, the Maritime Union of Australia claims.
On Monday night, the ALP’s WA executive endorsed a motion put forward by the MUA to remove Mr Ferguson from the party.
MUA branch secretary Chris Cain said Mr Ferguson should be expelled because he broke a party rule when he joined a lobbying organisation seven months after resigning from Julia Gillard’s cabinet.
Mr Ferguson accepted the newly created chairman’s role with the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association’s advisory board in October.
Labor says former ministers must wait 18 months before taking up such positions.
“The whole entire union movement and people who were at that executive meeting two nights ago voted unanimously – there was no argument – to expel Mr Ferguson,” Mr Cain told AAP.
He said there were also votes to expel him from Labor at recent gatherings of unions in Victoria and Queensland.
Mr Ferguson, who has previously labelled the MUA a “rogue” union and singled them out for delays and blowouts to the massive Gorgon gas project in Western Australia, told ABC radio in Perth on Tuesday that he would “not be losing any sleep” about the matter.
“This is the same branch of the ALP that in many ways is a national disgrace,” he said.
“They should be debating more seriously why at the recent half-Senate election, why they let down not only the working people of Western Australia but the working people of Australia in their inability to elect two or three Labor senators.
“And the fact there’s too much union influence in WA preselections at the state and federal level, and in policy determinations.”
Mr Cain said there was no love lost between the MUA and Mr Ferguson, who had “demonised” the union.
“There’s no apologies to make from this end,” he said.
WA Labor would not comment on the matter.