The Morrison government's proposed laws to make it easier to deregister unions and ban officials break international conventions, new ACTU-commissioned research has found.
Australia's peak trade union body enlisted the UK-based International Centre for Trade Union Rights to review the government's controversial Ensuring Integrity legislation.
The research paper says the bill would establish sweeping powers to interfere with and curtail trade union rights, putting Australia in breach of two International Labour Organisation conventions.
If the laws passed, Australia would be in breach of its commitments to uphold freedom of association and right to organise and collective bargaining conventions, it said.
The report found almost no comparable legislation in other industrialised democracies, arguing even the most onerous regulations aim to boost trade union democracy,
"The Ensuring Integrity Bill does precisely the opposite, and as such invites comparisons with the regulations deployed by repressive regimes, which are aimed at wholly undermining workers' rights to organise freely and independently of the state," the research says.
But Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter dismissed the claims, saying the report had no credibility because it was commissioned by the ACTU and conducted by a trade union organisation.
"The bill's explanatory memorandum clearly states that the Ensuring Integrity Bill does not impinge any of Australia's international obligations," he told AAP in a statement.
"The ACTU seem to be repeating Sally McManus's view that registered organisations and officials of organisations should be able to break the law.
"That is not a view that anyone accepts and certainly not the government, because breaking the law by the CFMMEU on working sites across Australia costs all Australians."
Mr Porter, who is also the attorney-general, said the bill's simple objective was to ensure registered organisations operate according to the law.
He said the CFMMEU had 75 officials before the courts, facing more than 750 breaches of the law, noting the union's track record of being slapped with more than $16 million in fines.
The paper found parallels between Turkey's laws cracking down on unions, while also pointing to similarities to Brazilian dictator-era laws.
ACTU president Michele O'Neil described the draft laws as "extreme and dangerous", saying Australia already had some of the most restrictive regulations for workers' organisations.
"This extreme new law would align Australia with authoritarian, undemocratic countries," she said.
The re-booted Ensuring Integrity Bill could be set for another parliamentary showdown after the Senate crossbench killed the proposal off in the previous term of government.
The coalition must convince a reduced number of crossbench senators to back the measures, which have been tweaked since their initial introduction to parliament.
Australian Associated Press