The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has confirmed it has been asked to participate in the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.
National Secretary, Paddy Crumlin confirmed that while the Union would participate in hearings, it stridently disagreed with the politics driving the inquiry.
"This Royal Commission has drained $53 million from the public purse, money that could have been far better spent building five new schools," Mr Crumlin said.
"This Royal Commission has revealed very little that we didn't already know. A far more useful national conversation might have been had about the extent and influence of corporate money in politics - something the ICAC is uncovering in NSW on a daily basis.
"At a time when there is clear evidence of corruption in the funding of our political system, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet are more interested in pursuing partisan politics through judicial means.
"We will co-operate with this Royal Commission but the politics driving it are reprehensible.
"I'm frankly disappointed that we have been given 48 hours to produce thousands of documents and that we were given the notice to produce documents after the media had been informed of the MUA’s scheduled appearance at the Royal Commission.
“The time and effort we will have to devote to the Royal Commission is time and resources that would be far better spent improving safety on the wharves or improving the retirement dignity of our members.
“It just goes to show that they can’t help themselves but try to get the MUA involved - I suppose there’s no show without Punch.”
“Unemployment is at a 12-year high but rather than help Australian workers find decent employment, the Abbott Government is instead hell-bent on opening the back door to cheap foreign labour across the country.
“The Abbott Government is being actively supported by the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) which not only wants to sell out Australian jobs but also water down training requirements by dumbing down and eroding the national framework.
“This Government has its priorities mixed up and the Australian population is awake to it.”