Construction union the CFMEU has been accused of "lawlessly" intimidating the customers of a Queensland crane company unless it agreed to union demands on enterprise bargaining and a multi-million dollar redundancy fund.

Albert Smith, the managing director of a company that owns Universal Cranes, made the allegations as the first witness at this week’s Brisbane hearings of the royal commission into union governance and corruption. “Clients wouldn’t use Universal Cranes so we lost several customers and, in some cases, customers that were…