Where has all the union money gone?

Looking deeply into union financing it appears that something strange is happening with money. And there is vast, vast amounts of it.

Just looking at three Unions, the Meatworkers, Andrew Little’s EPMU and the Dairy Workers they have taken a colossal amount of money each year. The rough numbers are:

Meatworkers Union: 23,000 members, approximately $5m per annum

Dairy Workers: 6,000 members paying 0.6% of their pay so likely to be between $2-3m per annum

EPMU: 43,000 members, $7.50 pw for full time workers, $3.65 per week for part time workers, somewhere between $10 -$15m depending on the full and part time split.

So each year these three unions, and it is only three of many, took between $17m and $20m dollars. Over a decade they have taken about $150m- $200m.

$150m is serious money. Especially when unions are making losses. Where has it all gone?

The Financial Markets Authority investigates finance companies and public companies who burn off vast amounts of investor capital, but who looks into the unions? Lawyers have the Law Society, Accountants have the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants, they are professional bodies but are responsible for professional standards. Real Estate Agents are controlled by the Real Estate Agent Authority…surely there needs to be a Unions Authority considering the huge amounts of money involved.

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