A little information on the Health Services Union (HSU) since it¹s all over the news in Australia.
Let’s look at the cast of characters involved in the HSU:
- Craig Thomson – New Zealand born former HSU National Secretary now ALP Member for Dobell – 181 irregularities in the FWA report (yet to be published) most of which will refer to Thompson’s misconduct. Julia Gillard maintains she “still has confidence in him”!
- Zoe Arnold – married to Craig Thomson (walked out on his first wife and kids to marry her), former press secretary to Reba Meagher, controversial ex-NSW ALP Health Minister
- Leo McLeay – former ALP MHR, HSU Ombudsman
- Mark McLeay – son of Leo McLeay, brother of Paul McLeay, former (sacked for watching porn) NSW ALP Minister; employed by Thomson
- Mike Williamson – National President HSU, former ALP National President, NSW ALP Vice-President, mentor to Craig Thomson
- Alex Williamson – Daughter of Mike Williamson, staffer for Julia Gillard
- Natalie Bradbury – National HSU Assistant Secretary, sister of David Bradbury, ALP member for Lindsay
- Jeff Jackson – former State Secretary HSU, had to pay back $15,000 due to unauthorised pay increases
- Kathy Jackson – National Secretary HSU, ex-wife of Jeff Jackson, former State Secretary HSU, (now whistle blower on the rorts)
- And of course, the HSU members themselves – expected to pay up their dues to support the above plus Thomson and his mates raunchy exploits.
Does anyone really need to ask what’s wrong with the union movement and the ALP?
It appears that this scenario is repeated in one form or another in most unions, most state ALP offices and of course, the national ALP, which is currently the government in Australia thanks to their cosy factions and backroom deals with the faceless men.
It’s the same system that coughs up people like Thomson, Swan, Albanese, Shorten, Emerson, Combet, Gillard and all the others who have slid into safe ALP seats using union members as a tool to their progress, and not having any other credentials for office other than being a union boss.
The poor old union members have no idea what happens to their union dues nor have they any say in it. The elites in the union leadership (few who have risen up through the rank and file), as the price for securing their own pre-selection when their time comes, ensure that vast amounts of union funds are channelled to the ALP and its election campaigns.
One can only hope that as a result of the current publicity, union members might start to wake up to the thieving and rorting which has been going on for years, and the huge amount of money their union leaders syphon off to finance their personal ambitions (and sleaze and of course) as well as the ALP.
The worry is that the more I look into union finances the more I see parallels here in New Zealand.