In the lead-up to the AWU wielding its numbers at the ACTU Congress in July, the union has commissioned a "modern membership project" after the Registered Organisations Commission recommended that it undertake an external audit to correct historical discrepancies in its enrolments.
Requirements for bargaining representatives from this week to disclose financial benefits stemming from enterprise agreements before workers vote on them will make it easier to track the revenue the deals generate for unions, employers say.
The legislative tension between state and federal union rules has been highlighted after a tribunal dismissed an expelled official's bid for reinstatement on the basis that it lacked the jurisdiction to give orders or directions to a national body.
Employers opposing the merger of the CFMEU, MUA and TCFU have warned the FWC that the unions would use their combined might to cripple the resource and construction industries, but they argue that in any case more than 45 pending penalty proceedings should legally disqualify them from amalgamating.
An FWC full bench has refused the CEPU leave to appeal a ROC decision on financial reporting deadlines, holding that the "real purpose" of the union's case was to avoid potential penalties for failing to meet its statutory obligations.
The Turnbull Government has listed two contested IR Bills for the debate in the Senate next week, setting it at odds with union calls to hold back controversial legislation until the citizenship status of MPs is clarified.