Union boss Paul Howes says Australia does not have a carbon tax - it has a fixed price on carbon.
"I don't think it's a carbon tax - it's a fixed price," Mr Howes told ABC radio on Monday.
"Labor has always said that it will put a price on carbon and that's what Labor did.
"This nonsense debate, which has distracted the Australian people for two years about what the prime minister did and didn't say, is a distraction."
Mr Howes, who is due to address the AWU's national conference in Queensland later on Monday, warned there would be big public sector job cuts should the coalition win the next federal election.
"We know what conservatives will do if they gain control of the federal government because we've seen what they've done here in Queensland with the state government," he said.
He says the carbon tax and associated green policies are affecting the competitiveness of Australian industries, particularly many energy intensive industries such as food processing, mining and related areas, and plastic and chemicals.
"We have seen job losses in these areas and we have seen decisions by companies in those areas not to pursue further investment," Mr Evans told reporters in Canberra.
"We were surprised that the union movement supported a carbon tax because it is fundamentally a tax which affects the jobs certainty of many of its members."