The Meatworker’s Millions

The Meatworkers Union has finally complied with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies orders to file proper accounts. Those orders came after the Meatworkers were busted by this blog and Rodney hide wrote to the Registrar. The Maritime Union is in the same boat…we await their true accounts.

Remember Helen Kelly described the holding to account of the Meatworkers Union to their legal and statutory requirements as “hatred

The accounts are revealing. The Owl is preparing further posts…but here are some headline numbers.

Meat Workers Union disclose losses and million dollar salary expenses – by the Owl

The NZ Meat Workers Unions filed their consolidated position of all the branches overnight and after previously reporting only the capitation income at head office levels and a cheery surplus of $17,672, revenues of $700k and salary and consultant costs of approximately $150,000.00 it can now be revealed that the true situation is vastly different from that portrayed.

In fact the Union had made losses of over $300k in the last two years paid out salaries and commissions of $1.29M and their revenue was a combined of $2.8M.

The whole integrity of the Incorporated Society Act is at stake.

More importantly the auditors qualify the accounts by saying they “have not received all the information and explanations as required”

More to follow…


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  • Notrotsky

    The members of the Union should throw the management out forthwith.

    • owl

      There are some real governance issues at NZCTU on managing their affiliates and ensuring individual members are well served by their bodies. The Owl will be writing about this a bit later.

      The title of my observation is “governance Crisis” ..the issue for the Labour Conference is that affiliate unions have a 20% voting right on leadership. Not all Labour people are from unions. The governance issue for the Labour Conference is that 20% of their votes will come from unions which are heavily under the spotlight.

      Take it from the view point you are going into partnership in business and you have one party of the partnership under a you sign the partnership agreement. My advice would be No.

      Clearly there are governance issue and the Owl will be watching if Helen Kelly makes corrections and provides guidance on union matters at the conference. I am looking forward to the conference dinner

      • Callum

        Companies office website is down for maintenance at the moment, I would be checking the investments through there though as they may be required to be consolidated. Will be interesting to check tomorrow.

        • Callum

          Website back up, they control 260,000 of the 700,000 shares in the Trade Union Centre Canterbury. There may be other factors involved but on the face of it that investment should be equity accounted under FRS 38.

          • Dave

            Excellent work Callum. It begs the question, where are these shares accounted for in their accounts, if not why not, and from a members perspective how can they ever trust their union when they fail to account for this. Next step, excuse us Mr Registrar, they seem to have misrepresentedtheir accounts again, obviously can’t be trusted so time to Deregister!

  • Alloytoo

    I’m sure the Owl will comment the following:
    Average salary of Union employee compared to members.
    How much of the loss could be attributable to contributions (Direct and indirect) to the labour party.
    I have to wonder, if the members simply channelled their union fees into their Kiwisavers, would they ultimately have a better return than the results of the Union bargaining?

  • So how is the loss funded?

  • CJA

    Hmmm kind of makes me wonder if these are even complete financial statements if the auditors have qualified on them. My guess would have been done in a hurry and then filed rather than done properly.

    • owl

      yes the auditors have qualified them – they did not get all their explanations as per their auditors statement

      • Neil

        Not sure how much of a specific issue this is. Our own Auditor (at the Charitable Organisation I used to manage) always qualified our annual accounts. A bit worried about the issue of “have not received all the information and explanations as required” that’s a stupid game.

        • Alloytoo

          If memory serves, Charitable organisations normally get a qualification regarding their income. Donations tend to be a fuzzy area where auditors are concerned, but that qualification is very specific, this seems more general?

          • Neil

            Correct Allytoo kinda what I was gettin’ at.

        • owl

          Unions are not charities – they are legal entities just like companies.

          • Neil

            Sorry I wasn’t clearer Owl – aren’t ‘not for profit’ rules the same as charities that was why I made that comparison – please correct me

          • Callum

            I generally would only qualify a cash based income source if it was material to the whole entity, would also specify exactly which income I was qualifying. Given the vast majority of income is direct credit from employers I would be asking what cash based income do they have?

            The lack of information for the two branches mentioned would give me serious concerns around the management structure in place, who is overseeing them?

          • owl

            Cullum and Neil: correct “not for profit” are the same as charities. Unions are “not for profit” as well but they must ensure members funds are managed well and squandered.

            However the cash based income generally applies to sports clubs or the general social activities. Unions do not have a cash business. They invoice for fees, have fully integrated accounting systems and should therefore be very auditible.

            I would be surprised if a Union dealt with more than 1% of their turnover in cash. At best this would be for a sausage sizzle. Unions are businesses, the scout group is a social group”

          • Teletubby

            Nice typo Owl, I think the unions are doing a fine job of squandering the members funds

          • owl

            true – I think the punters know it should NOT in front of squandered but will leave for the humour

  • Gazzaw

    It will be fascinating to see exactly how much oxygen and sunlight this issue is given by the MSM.

    • owl

      it will – NBR has picked up the story

      • Neil

        Sorry Owl – have to say it – NBR Main Stream Media?

      • Gazzaw

        I mean a bit of good oldfashioned shit-stirring so frequently indulged in by the MSM whenever there is the remotest whiff of scandal involving the Nats or their perceived allies. An editorial in the Weekend Herald speculating on the source of funds for labour’s war-chest would be great timing for the labour party conference. Pigs might fly.

    • Neil

      Don’t hold your breath – unless someones name is mentioned….

  • Dave

    All power to The Owl & WOBH for your persistent following of this and other unions.

    I sincerely hop the registrar asks for clarification and further disclosure around the Auditors report

    I also wonder if this deceitful union should not be Deregistered for firstly filing clearly misleading and very inaccurate accounts, then filing accounts which still have major issues identified by their auditor.

    Please mr register, the Auditor has serious concerns around their disclosure, please Don’t accept them, demand full disclosure.

  • Roll over a log and watch the bugs scatter when they are exposed to the sunlight. Congratulations to the Owl and to WO for having busted this story open.

  • cows4me

    Nothing a bit of creative accounting can’t fix.

  • GregM

    Nice work Owl and Cam. Hopefully there will be more on this in tomorrows Truth.