Australian workers have paid a hefty price to be part of the country’s worst-behaving union, with a whopping $65 million in legal fees and fines coming out of their pockets over the past 15 years.

Analysis of the Construction Forestry Mining Maritime and Energy Union’s legal costs reveals membership dues paid for hundreds and hundreds of breaches of workplace law including coercion, contempt of court and compensation orders to employers.

In NSW alone, there were 169 breaches and 12 cases costing $6.7 million in total. But it was controversial Victorian union boss John Setka who proved most costly to the worker, with $17 million attributed to his cases alone.

While Labor leader Anthony Albanese pledged he would kick Mr Setka out of his party he has thus far been unable to thwart the union heavyweights; also drawing the ire of the Electrical Trades Union.

Regardless of the internal power struggles of Labor and the unions, the facts are clear: Workers pay again and again and again for the sort of thuggish behaviour that has seen magistrates throw a library of books at the unions.