"I do not want them targeted or part of this bill and they shouldn't be."

Don't punish good unions: Jacqui Lambie

CRUCIAL independent senator Jacqui Lambie has called for unions representing nurses and emergency services to be carved out of controversial "ensuring integrity" laws.

Senator Lambie holds a trump card in negotiations to pass the coalition's bill making it easier to deregister unions and ban officials.

She has raised the prospect of supporting the legislation, which was rejected in the Senate last year, if the government backs her amendments.

"The sticking point is there's some really great unions out there that have been doing the right thing and have always done the right thing," she told ABC radio on Thursday.

"I do not want them targeted or part of this bill and they shouldn't be."

Senator Lambie's support has previously hinged on controversial construction union boss John Setka quitting.

While he refuses to budge, the firebrand politician isn't resiling from criticism of law-breaking unions.

"It's the bad eggs you want to take down that are not doing the right thing," she said.

One of Senator Lambie's amendments is about protecting the right to strike and take other industrial action.

But she wants action against unions bringing themselves into disrepute.

"I will not hold the other unions - I will not hold nurses, firemen and police responsible for that behaviour and they shouldn't be," she said.

"I want to make sure that if we are going to agree to this bill, that they are completely removed and they are not affected by it."

The Morrison government argues the legislation will only allow tougher sanctions for unions that continually break the law.

But Labor and unions fiercely oppose the measures, which also include a public interest test for mergers.

The opposition has warned the bill could punish officials for minor paperwork breaches.

Pauline Hanson's One Nation handed the government a shock defeat last year, scuppering an attempt to have the laws in place before Christmas.


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