The judges of the Federal Court have lashed one of Australia’s most thuggish unions this week, confirming what many of us have long believed.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), one of Labor’s biggest supporters, regards itself as free to disobey the law and has been “disgraceful and shameful”, according to two decisions by the Federal Court of Australia.

The CFMEU was fined $271,500 by Justice Richard Tracey for the bad behaviour of union thugs on Tuesday, before the Full Court upheld a fine of $306,000 in an effort to “rein in aberrant behaviour”.

“The union has adopted the attitude that it will not comply with any legislative constraints, placed on its operations, with which it disagrees,” Justice Tracey said. “Such an approach is an anathema in a democratic society”.

He continued this sentiment in the Full Court decision.

“The CFMEU has determined that its officials will not comply with the requirements of the Fair Work Act with which it disagrees. If this results in civil penalties being imposed they will be paid and treated as a cost of the union pursuing its industrial ends. The union simply regards itself as free to disobey the law,” Justice Tracey said.

Justice Logan said the union’s conduct was “a further manifestation of a lengthy and repeated pattern of unrepentant, outlaw behaviour by the CFMEU”.

The NSW Nationals have long taken exception to the thuggish behaviour of unions like the CFMEU, which has repeatedly demonstrated its unwillingness to abide by the law. Any such organisation is dangerous in a democratic society and any group that supports, or is supported by, these 21st Century Bolsheviks should reconsider whether they want to be associated with such outlaw thuggery.

There is a place for industrial disputes and there is a process. Simply ignoring the law and bullying businesses is a practice that should be stamped out and condemned unreservedly.