EPMU

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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Unions control the Labour party, all over the world, including New Zealand

Just that in the UK, they’re a little more honest about it

Which party’s fundraising techniques are more elitist, less grounded in the real world of ordinary people, and less democratic? It’s a tough call.

This week, we’ve seen Left-wing trade union magnifico Len McCluskey set out his shopping list of things he wants in return for his Unite union tossing another £12 million into Labour’s coffers.

You see that?  Unions telling Labour what they want in return for they money, but at least it is out in the open there.

One thing you can say about Mr McCluskey — though it is not necessarily to his credit — is that you know where he is coming from. Whereas it is usually not clear what donors to the Tory Party expect or get in return, Red Len shamelessly sets out his stall.

One of his sidekicks, Steve Turner, told a fringe event at Unite’s policy conference in Liverpool this week that his union wanted a Ministry of Labour in a future Labour administration. In a secret recording passed to the Mail, Mr Turner also said that Unite will press for the repeal of trade union laws. Read more »

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Why is the EPMU not donating to National on behalf of its members? – Observation by the Owl

The Owl is not surprised by the press release about the Unions donating funds to NZ Labour Party. The Owl says this is orchestrated because it is showing an incredible “squeaky clean” approach with all the donation sagas going on.

Observation by the Owl.

EPMU says they are going to donate $60,000.00 but when you read the EPMU constitution, the executive powers does not state anywhere that they can make donations to a political party.

The Executive Powers are quite clear in Section 6 (paraphrased headings).

  1. Represent members
  2. Subscriptions
  3. Property
  4. Invest
  5. Borrow
  6. Appoint
  7. Contracts

The Objectives are as per Section 5 read to promote the members wishes through a variety of methods which are sound and reasonable.

This this is where the Owl thinks it gets all a bit “tricky’  – the EPMU is affiliated to the NZ Labour Party, votes for the leadership and appoints a member to the NZ Labour Party.     Read more »

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EPMU indicate who they would like to win the election

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EPMU members showing Cunliffe and Norman what they expect

The EPMU press release:

The EPMU national conference has endorsed donations to the Labour Party and Green Party for their election campaigns.

“Our elected conference delegates feel very strongly that a Labour-Green coalition government is the best hope for restoring workers’ rights, rebuilding our manufacturing sector with a sustainable strategy for jobs, and ensuring that all Kiwis get a fair share of the growing economy,” says Bill Newson, national secretary of the EPMU.

Labour leader David Cunliffe and Green co-leader Russel Norman both spoke at the conference, explaining the policies their respective parties will take into government following the 2014 election. Read more »

The perspective of distance

I live in Auckland, many would say that gives me a handicap in talking and commenting on politics which is largely centred inside the Thorndon Triangle or to use the American idiom, “The Beltway”.

I find that living outside of the incestuous and collegial atmosphere of Wellington means I get a different perspective on matters and can say and write things without fear of my restaurant dining buddies and cafe, latte sipping confidantes getting upset and refusing to talk to me.

The same could be said for Dene Mackenzie at the Otago Daily Times.

A change in the Labour Party leadership to Grant Robertson would have benefits for the two Dunedin MPs, Clare Curran and David Clark, both of whom were strong supporters of Mr Robertson in last year’s leadership round.

Mr Robertson indicated yesterday he had ”no intention” of challenging leader David Cunliffe before the election. However, another bad poll for Labour and Mr Robertson is likely to feel his colleagues breathing down his neck, urging a change.

Mr Cunliffe’s actions are coming under increasing scrutiny, particularly after it emerged this week he had written a letter on behalf of wealthy Chinese businessman Donghua Liu.

The letter was written soon after Mr Cunliffe was elected New Lynn MP, 11 years ago.

He claims to have no recollection of the letter or any meeting with Mr Liu. But the first sentence of the supporting letter indicates either he, or his office, had been approached by Mr Liu.

Dunedin South MP Ms Curran was demoted by Mr Cunliffe after he was selected as leader of the party, as his support came mainly from the membership and trade unions, rather than caucus.

Dunedin North MP Dr Clark lost some seniority in the reshuffle, but took it well by taking a long-term view of his prospects.

Both MPs told Mr Cunliffe of their support for Mr Robertson before the Labour leadership forum held in Dunedin.

Read more »

Who are David Cunliffe’s secret two donors? [ POLL ]

poll

A – Helen Clark, personal donation

B – Don Pryde, EPMU president, on behalf of EPMU

C – Helen Kelly – CTU president, personal donation

Pick David Cunliffe's two "secret" donors!

  • Don and Helen (B & C) (57%, 803 Votes)
  • Helen and Helen (A & C) (25%, 358 Votes)
  • Helen and Don (A & B) (18%, 248 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,409

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New jobs not good enough for the EPMU

People moan about my attitude towards unions.

Generally they add no value to anything and are often the cause of issues and certainly almost never the solution.

Take the EPMU whinging about 139 new jobs…they simply aren’t good enough for the EPMU.

There’s not much cause to celebrate in the news that 139 jobs at Sitel in Australia will be moving to New Zealand, says the union for telecommunications workers, the EPMU.

The US company announced last week that it is moving jobs to New Zealand because labour is cheaper here.

“That’s not good news for workers or the New Zealand economy,” says Anita Rosentreter, EPMU organiser. “These jobs aren’t secure and they don’t give workers a chance to build a real career or plan for their future.

“Last year we lost 100 jobs from Sitel in Auckland. They went to Australia and the Philippines.   Read more »

EPMU boss caught telling fibs, he should get his facts straight

EPMU Boss confirms $17M of missing union member’s funds – Observation by the Owl

I have admired Bill Newson from the EPMU and have given him much credit for revealing all the details of EPMU financial information of which had not previously been disclosed.

However the EPMU Boss caught telling fibs is a very discreet posting on the EPMU website where he confirms that $17M of union members funds has gone missing.

FACT: On May 13th 2014 this was posted on EMPU website.

John Key’s attack on workers’ unions is a desperate ploy to distract attention from serious questions about his own party.

“We’re a democratic organisation representing thousands of hardworking Kiwis, and we have nothing to hide,” says Bill Newson, national secretary of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.

The Prime Minister made wild accusations about union donations to the Labour Party after his Cabinet ministers were implicated in a cash-for-access scandal.

“Our members expect us to support policies which are good for workers and their families, good for wages, and good for the economy,” says Bill Newson. “That’s why they continue to support our affiliation to the Labour Party.  Read more »

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A bloody good point

David Farrar raises a bloody good point.

goodpoint

Of course they have their former General Secretary sitting in caucus as well, plus several members of Cunliffe’s war room and staff are ex-officio EPMU members…including Paul Tolich.

Let’s look at their declared cash donations to Labour.  Read more »