EPMU

Why Labour needs to distance themselves from the unions

Labour’s deep history is wedded with the union movement, but it is a history that they need to put behind them in order to advance.

It hasn’t helped that the unions shoe-horned their master into the leadership when Andrew Little won the leadership race.

Labour parties the world over are struggling with their union backers.

In Australia there is a long line up of union officials, former union officials who are now MPs and Labor MPs funded and backed by the unions being paraded before various Independent Commissions Against Corruption.

In the UK Unite union is the king-maker and essentially owns the Labour party through their massive multi-million pound donations.

In New Zealand Labour’s biggest donors are the unions, kicking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in members cash, time and manpower to assist Labour. The NZ Dairy Workers union kicked in $40,000 before the election last year. The EPMU (Andrew Little’s union) tipped in $60,000 in July 2014. These are small numbers when compared to the UK but they are Labour’s largest declared donors.

So, why would I say that Labour should distance themselves from the unions?

Well, because the latest UMR (Labour’s own pollster) mood of the nation report shows that unions are not well-loved.

umr-trusted Read more »

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Who is Andrew Little? Where is the Union Members $3 million?

Andrew Little made a huge pitch to the Labour members during the leadership election claiming he was the man who rebuilt the EPMU. As we saw yesterday it was all “I” “I” “I”.

So he was the man responsible.

So why has no one questioned him on the EPMU accounts, which are publicly available? The part to look at is the Education and Training Trust, which is note 18c in the 2013 the accounts.

What appears to have happened is in 1996 $6m of members money was transferred into the Education & Training Trust. At some stage this amount miraculously turned into $3m, with $3m going missing.

Little took over in 1999, he had senior positions until then. There are two big gaps in the accounts.

Note that all union accounts have to be made publicly available and are on www.societies.org.nz (Organisation number 1023) so we are not making anything up, we have just investigated Little’s time as the head of the EMPU and want to know where the money has gone. We also want to know why the accounts do not tell the public, let alone union members, where the $3m is.   Read more »

Who is Andrew Little? – The EPMU Years

Andrew Little’s claim that he is a leader is based around his years at the EPMU. He spent 19 years in the union movement, and is very proud of his achievements at the EPMU.

Our pinko mate Farrar knows union history backwards and wrote the following in 2009:

Andrew became the union’s general counsel in 1997, then the assistant national secretary and next year will celebrate ten years as national secretary of the EPMU.

For many years Andrew has also been on the National Council of the Labour Party, representing the union affiliates who provide much of the money and manpower to Labour in exchange for bulk voting rights at conferences.

In his Palmerston North campaign speech he made the following claim.

I am standing for the Labour Party Leadership for two principal reasons. Firstly I have led significant change in a large organisation. When I took over at the EPMU, our largest private sector union, we were an organisation in three parts.    Read more »

This is what Fairfax and Waikato Times calls an apology

Yesterday we wrote about the slamming the Waikato Times got from the Press Council…with all the professional media people on the Council and the EPMU hacks all voting to uphold the complaint.

Only the womble members voted against.

The Waikato Times thought that despite them featuring their hatchet job on the front page despite there being not a shred of evidence to support their claims, that they would run the apology in the middle of the Christmas holidays and buried inside the paper. They preferred instead to focus on the jubblies of Miss Whangamata for their front page.

Their apology, such as it is is now online.

fairfax-apology Read more »

The Owl is making a comeback

Observation by the Owl – I’m back

Let’s start 2015 with a bang.

Here is some interesting subjects for 2015

Why hasn’t Unite Union’s Charitable Trust filed their accounts?

Why hasn’t The Maritime Union of NZ filed their accounts?

Will Andrew Little make sure these matters are actioned asap?  Read more »

Now here’s something you didn’t know about Little Andy

AndrewLittleInTheHouse

Mr Little said yesterday he was of the left. But the policy changes he promoted during the leadership campaign – dropping the capital gains tax and the policy to increase the pension age – have been aimed at regaining the centre.

In one of Labour’s biggest divisions, economic development versus environmentalism, Mr Little is firmly in the development camp.

As leader of an engineering union, he defended the much derided Think Big policies of the Muldoon Government because of the the pride in heavy engineering they brought to Taranaki.

[His] parents arrived in New Zealand in 1962. His father was in the British military and retrained as a teacher, and his mother was a secretary. Both were National Party stalwarts.

Little will make a large leap to the right. Read more »

Is this idiot reading my emails?

Scott Yorke at Imperator Fish seems to have hacked my emails.

He has a post about talking points for dealing with Andrew Little.

Time is of the essence now that Andrew Little has been confirmed as Labour’s new leader. You can’t afford to let him settle in, to be effective, to unite the various party factions. He needs to be sabotaged, and there’s no time to waste. It’s your job to run him down at every opportunity.

I have compiled a list of talking points for you to use on your blogs and other forms of media. This should save you from having to trawl through various other sites for mud to throw.

Gallery journalists and dime-a-dozen talking-head pundits: feel free to use as required for your columns and opinion pieces, in place of actual analysis.

Andrew Little talking points:

Beholden to union interests, no real public profile, couldn’t even win his electorate, a return to the bad old days of 1970s industrial relations, alarming hard-left agenda, unionist mates will be expecting payoff now, wonder what deals he’s made, anti-democratic, most members and caucus members wanted someone else as leader, unelectable, John Key will be relieved, dour and unlikeable, will further divide the party.

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Really? Unions are the solution to create proper journalism?

Laila Harre reckons unions are the key to solving the problem we have with our media in New Zealand.

Labour’s tame lap-bloggers at The Standard explain.

Laila Harre focused strongly on industrial relations: many of the problems we have now with the media and journalism are due to the demise of collective bargaining.  With collective bargaining a collective sense of professionalism develops. This produces a team environment, with senior journalists supporting and mentoring junior journalists.  This helps to develop and protect professional standards.

So what she is proposing is people like David Fisher and his dishonest, hagiographic, activist “journalism” be used to train new journalists.

Or Adam Bennett also from the Herald perhaps who this week called some one and lied about what a politician had said in oder to get his mark to commit to something based on that lie. The mark was smart enough to check, and to know what was being attempted.    Read more »

Why would a union donate to a party who wants to see their members unemployed?

David Farrar blogs about the EPMU donating to the Green party and how members are upset by it.

The Greymouth evening Star reports that West Coast miners who are EPMU members are furious at the EPMU for donating $15,000 to the Greens, when they want the mining industry in NZ to die out. Over a dozen miners have complained.

You can imagine how galling it would be to have your union donate a portion of your salary to a party that wants to close down the industry you work in, and effectively put you out of a job.

Read more »

Rodney Hide on unions buying influence in politics

Rodney Hide has a column in the Herald on Sunday where he looks at unions and they buying of influence in politics.

The true donations scandal in New Zealand politics was reported this week without comment. It’s the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union’s $60,000 donation to Labour.

The EPMU is one of the six unions affiliated to Labour. The affiliated unions pay fees and fund the Party through donations. The donations and fees total hundreds of thousands of dollars.

More significantly, union staff campaign for Labour and the unions run parallel campaigns. For example, Labour is campaigning for the “living wage”. In a parallel campaign the Services and Food Workers Union spent more than half a million dollars last year promoting that exact policy.

The union funding of Labour totals in the millions. And what does Labour provide in return? In effect the entire party. The unions get to determine the party’s leader. Their say counts for 20 per cent of the vote. That’s the difference between winning and losing by a wide margin.

Affiliation also buys a seat at the table. The affiliated unions have a guaranteed vice-president position on Labour’s all-powerful New Zealand Council.

They also get their people as MPs. The Labour Party enables the unions to parachute members into Parliament. Labour list MP Andrew Little headed the EPMU for 11 years before entering Parliament.

Being a union boss come Labour’s list selection time isn’t as good as being a Maori lesbian but it’s a close second.

And the unions get policy, lots of policy. In 1999 the EPMU gave $100,000 to Labour. The following year the Labour Government passed the Employment Relations Act. This act gives the unions incredible power over Kiwi workplaces as well as easy access to workers’ pay packets.

The Employment Relations Act nicely closes the loop. The act was provided by the Labour Party. It gave the unions access to workers’ pockets, and that’s the money the unions now tip into Labour’s coffers.

Indeed, in the state sector it’s policy for Government to give union members a bonus to cover their union fees. You and I pay their union fees.

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