Trade Union

Unions back bearded Socialist Voter Repellent

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The pommy unions seem hell bent on ensuring Labour stays out of office in the UK for many years to come.

They are backing the bearded socialist voter repellent Jeremy Corbyn.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership campaign has received a major boost after he won the backing of Britain’s second-biggest trade union, Unison.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of the union, which has 1.3 million members, said Mr Corbyn’s message had “resonated with public sector workers” and that “their choice shows a clear need for change towards a fairer society”.

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David Cameron goes after the unions

David Cameron is going after the unions big time.

The biggest crackdown on trade union rights for 30 years will be unveiled on Wednesday, including new plans to criminalise picketing, permit employers to hire strike-breaking agency staff and choke off the flow of union funds to the Labour party.

The scale of the reforms goes far wider than the previously trailed plan for strikes to be made unlawful unless 50% of those being asked to strike vote in the ballot.

In a set of proposals on a par with those introduced by Norman Tebbit in 1985, Sajid Javid, the business secretary, is also to require that at least 40% of those asked to vote support the strike in most key public services. In the case of 100 teachers asked to strike, the action would only be lawful if at least 50 teachers voted and 40 of them backed the strike.

The double threshold would have to be met in any strike called in health, education, fire, transport, border security and energy sectors – including the Border Force and nuclear decommissioning.

In further changes, Javid will:

• Require all unions, not just those affiliated to Labour, to ask each existing union member whether they wish to pay the political levy and then repeat the question every five years. The £25m annual political fund income from 4.5 million political levy payers funds a wide range of political campaigning including being a chief source of funding for Labour.   Read more »

Daryl Kerrigan has some advice for the ALP

Daryl Kerrigan needs to be telling the ALP a few home truths over their denials that the corruption inquiry has not damaged Bill Shorten.

Labor MPs are privately acknowledging the Opposition Leader has “lost some bark” during his appearance at the royal commission into union corruption, but they maintain the damage is not serious.

Bill Shorten has spent two days giving evidence at the commission hearing in Sydney, about his time as the Victorian and national secretary of the Australian Workers Union (AWU) before he entered politics.

He may also be recalled to give further evidence before the commission’s final report is due at the end of the year.

During the inquiry, Mr Shorten admitted that the Labor Party failed to declare a business donation of a senior staff member to his 2007 parliamentary election campaign.

The party only made the disclosure this week, eight years on.

It was just resting in the account…channelling Father Ted.

He has also been accused of a potential conflict of interest, because the union accepted $500,000 in payments from a glassworks company for ‘fees’ and ‘training’ while negotiating pay deals for workers.

The commissioner, Dyson Heydon QC, further criticised Mr Shorten for providing “long and extraneous” answers, and over his credibility as a witness.

Government frontbencher Eric Abetz said he thinks most people would be “horrified” by some of the evidence exposed through the royal commission.

But Mr Shorten has strongly rejected the accusation he has acted improperly.

At the end of the marathon hearings he fronted reporters to defend his reputation and declare he had “no conflict of interest whatsoever”.

“There was no evidence demonstrated of any conflict,” Mr Shorten said.

“The truth of the matter is that every day I was a union rep I was standing up for our members.”

Sources within the Labor Party have told the ABC that Mr Shorten has “lost some bark” through the process, and that it is “unhelpful” for the alternative prime minister to be hauled before the inquiry and the cameras.

But they do not think the damage to his credibility is serious and maintain there was “no smoking gun” or “hanging offence” in the commission hearing.

They’re dreamin’.

 

– ABC

Why doesn’t Andrew Little face the same type of questions as Bill Shorten?

Australia has a Royal Commission investigating Union Corruption. It is asking a lot of questions of ALP leader Bill Shorten about his time as a union leader before he entered Parliament.

The main stream media has glossed over Andrew Little’s time at the EPMU, when there were a long series of questionable financial matters that have not been investigated properly.

Here are the questions we want answers to. They are all based on documents available on the www.societies.govt.nz web site.

Engineering Training and Education Foundation:            The EPMU advanced $6m to the Engineering Training and Education Foundation in 1995.

  1. Why did the EPMU give the Engineering Training and Education Foundation a $6m Loan?
  2. What was the purpose of the loan?
  3. What is the current book value of the loan?
  4. What happened to the money?
  5. What does “Impairment Provision” mean?
  6. Is the Engineering Training and Education Foundation trading as insolvent?
  7. If it is not trading as insolvent how can it continue trading with negative equity of $2,282,264 in the 2012 year?

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Why doesn’t the CTU contribute to Labour?

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The Labour Party is flat broke, and have been broke since Mike “Fat Tony” Williams finished up as party president.

Contrary to popular belief the union movement is not the Labour Party’s banker, as they have only given $696,700 to Labour over the last 18 years.

Interestingly the Council of Trade Unions, known as the CTU, does not give to the Labour Party. This is based on their constitution which says:    Read more »

Which Unions Give What to Labour?

Not enough union cash is coming in

Not enough union cash is coming in

Continuing on from our series on Union funding of Labour, or more correctly union non funding of Labour, it is worth looking at which unions give to Labour and when. Since the MMP era began Labour’s donations from unions have been less than $700,000.

Somewhat surprisingly there is only one donation from a union that does not have a vote in the Labour Party leadership election and that was a long, long time ago before Unions had a vote in the Labour leadership race.  Read more »

Will the MSM ever look into Andrew Little’s Record?

My numbers are rising I tell you

The current problems facing ALP leader Bill Shorten over irregular payments to his union are the subject of a Royal Commission. They are also subject to serious scrutiny by serious Australian journalists.

In New Zealand this has not happened as our incredibly shallow press have concentrated on pulling of pony tails and other trivial things. They have done a light once-over of Andrew Little, and tried to make him seem human.

They have not taken a deep and thorough look into his background at the EPMU and the financial irregularities that need questioning.

Andrew Little makes strong claims about his stewardship of the EPMU, yet there are clear and very public inconsistencies in the EPMU accounts. All this is available on the public record, yet none of our ambulance-chasing journalists have been willing to do the kind of deep research required to make a story stack up, or to ask Andrew Little questions about his union’s accounts.   Read more »

Ratbag union bosses still be hauled before corruption commission in Australia

The Royal Commission looking into union and, by implication ALP corruption is continuing. Now federal opposition leader Bill Shorten is having to front.

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten will appear before the royal commission into union corruption as a scandal deepens around the conduct of his former union.

Mr Shorten, a former Victorian and national Australian Workers Union secretary, announced he will testify before the inquiry in either late August or early September after being requested to do so on Thursday night.

The commission’s request comes after Fairfax Media reported on Thursday that Mr Shorten oversaw an unusual deal in which a Melbourne building firm bankrolled the union dues of its own employees through large payments to the AWU.

Receipts and emails revealed show Mr Shorten oversaw the deal in 2005 whereby his AWU branch invoiced Winslow Constructors for $38,228 to pay fo 105 union memberships.

“I welcome the opportunity to talk about my 21 year record standing up for workers,” Mr Shorten said.   Read more »

Comment of the Day – Giving it to Grant Robertson

Today’s comment of the day is typical Taranaki clarity spoken by a cockie who works bloody hard and is sick of listening to career politicians telling him that despite a lifetime of dodging real jobs they know what is best for the real workers and businesses of New Zealand.

cows4me • What a load of unadulterated crap from another socialist tosspot. What I want Grant, are you listening, less compliance, less bureaucracy, less regulation, greater respect for property rights and my greatest wish, no more career politicians.

Spot on.

Thats what we all want.  Read more »

Some words of caution for Andrew Little and Labour, but will they listen?

Tony Alexander, in his latest newsletter, has some words of caution for Andrew Little and the Labour party about the path they have embarked on.

Last week I noted that there are some trends which people (businesses I suppose, truth be told) should keep an eye on. These included growing wealth inequality and employers exploiting staff. Perhaps this latter thread is one of the motivating factors behind the new Leader of the Opposition’s announcement that he will set up a two year “Future of Work Commission”. The intention is that this project will examine changes in the way people work via numerous workshops and extensive contact with various groups. The risk is that it ends
up being a grumpy free for all for all and sundry so the first task of the work which Grant Robertson will lead is to tightly define what they wish specifically to focus on and go from there.

Good luck to them because one outcome of the GFC is an altered relationship between employers and employees. But more than that whole new industries and jobs have appeared, there is more casualisation and contracting, and a generation of people have come through the education system and entered the workforce with minimal awareness of what unions can offer them. And that union movement suffers greatly from being associated with exactly that – a politically motivated always Labour-supporting “movement” rather than true representation of employee concerns.

These are early days for the re-elected National government and early days for the latest Labour Party leader, so the thrust of changes in the employee-employer relationship for the next three years is still likely to be in the direction of further empowering the former. But employers should keep an eye on the building undercurrent of discontent among the working poor in particular, what the Aussies call the “battlers”, and where possible seek input into the new Commission.

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