Australian and Kiwi unions start campaign to hurt Fijian economy

The Aussie and Kiwi unions have launched a campaign that will only try to hurt the economy of Fiji by targeting holiday-makers.

Trade unions in Australia and New Zealand have joined forces in a campaign to get tourists visiting Fiji to support workers rights.

The Destination Fiji website and social media campaign aims to get potential visitors to send messages to their respective foreign ministers and interim Fiji prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama and tell them to end what they call the suffering in Fiji.

The campaign website says human and workers’ rights in Fiji have been under attack since the 2006 coup, over 60 per cent of Fijian wage earners now live below the poverty line, many workers earn less than $3 an hour, and those speaking out against the regime are threatened and assaulted

ACTU President Ged Kearney tells Bruce Hill the idea is to get tourists to think carefully about what’s happening in Fiji, not necessarily to get them to avoid visiting the country altogether.  Read more »

Union busted outsourcing

Union, like the Greens are the most sanctimonious in politics. Where the Greens sanctimony extends to things environmental the unions are worst in industrial relations. The very things they claim are evil of employers are the same things they do to their own staff.

Just last week the PSA was fined for illegally dismissing a sick employee and in Australia the ACTU has been busted outsourcing staff. Once again unions practice their do as we say not as we do approach to politics:

THE ACTU has joined the ranks of corporate Australia by moving to axe nearly 20 per cent of its staff and by outsourcing work.

The controversial restructure will see nearly all jobs in the Australian Council of Trade Unions’ media and campaigns section cut. Sources said some of that work would be outsourced to Essential Media Communications, a union-friendly public relations company.

The union movement has been a bitter critic of outsourcing and a union official who spoke to The Age questioned the move. Another senior unionist, who is on the ACTU executive, said he was unaware that the job cuts were coming.

ACTU secretary Dave Oliver defended the changes, which will also see staff cut from its training department. A total of about 20 will leave through a mix of compulsory and voluntary redundancies.

”This is the way I’m going to run the ACTU,” Mr Oliver said. ”Reorient it to be more campaign-orientated.”

He said the restructure had the backing of senior officers and affiliated unions.

Mr Oliver defended the job cuts from the communications department and said it was in response to a changing media environment.

He rejected claims the ACTU had been hypocritical on outsourcing. ”We currently use third-party providers and continue to do so, we will have some in-house capacity.”

The ACTU has campaigned hard in recent years on the issue of insecure work and has also regularly attacked employers for shedding staff.

In July Mr Oliver attacked Ford for layoffs and said ”workers must not be made scapegoats for poor management decisions”.

Labor’s life of shame

Brisbane Times

Labor’s judgement day is looming. Their union rorting, cheating chickens are coming home to roost:

A constant stream of Labor heavies came through Dobell and Robertson, led by the opposition leader Kevin Rudd, to support the Labor candidates: Craig Thomson in Dobell and Belinda Neal in Robertson. Former prime minister Bob Hawke visited Dobell four times.

”I had never seen so many shadow ministers coming through. We had one every day,” said another Liberal campaign worker, who preferred not to be named. She saw plenty of the Labor field general in Dobell, Michael Williamson.

Williamson was operating from deep within the Labor machine. He was, and is, the national president of the Health Services Union, where Craig Thomson had been national secretary for five years. He was on the executive of the ACTU. He was a vice-president of Unions NSW. And a director of the SGE Credit Union. He would be elected national president of the ALP in 2009.

After Julia Gillard became prime minister, she employed his daughter, Alexandra, as a media adviser. Senator Mark Arbib, believed to have been a key figure in organising political and legal protection for Thomson, rented a Canberra apartment with Alexandra Williamson for two years.

In the 2007 election campaign, Williamson concentrated all the resources he could marshal on Dobell. He spent much of his time operating out of the Thomson campaign office at Long Jetty. He deployed resources from the HSU, Unions NSW, the ACTU and the ALP. He organised scores of union members into the electorate and booked dozens of motel rooms for campaigners.

Many of the details of the 2007 campaign can be found in the report by Fair Work Australia into the activities of Thomson. The Dobell campaign office was largely financed by the HSU with help from the Transport Workers Union. Staff from the HSU national office were seconded to the campaign. The ACTU set up a Work Choices campaign office across the road from Thomson’s headquarters.

So blurred were the lines between Thomson, Williamson, the unions, the ACTU and the Labor Party that when Thomson gave his first speech in federal Parliament on February 19, 2008, he said: ”The support I received from the entire union movement but in particular from Unions NSW, the TWU , the CFMEU [Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union] mining division, the PSA [Public Service Association of NSW] and, of course, my own union, the Health Services Union, was phenomenal. Michael Williamson, the HSU national president, was a marvel in relation to the long-term support he provided to me.”

The Thomson scandal has now busted all that wide open, but Labor feels it owns Thomson after helping him so much. But Thomson is set to name names at 2pm our time:

Labor would do it all again in Dobell in 2010, more than a year after the Thomson scandal was exposed by this newspaper. Thomson re-contested and won Dobell in 2010, a victory that saved the Gillard government.

Labor owns Craig Thomson. In every way.

Strange, then, that Thomson is now accusing Williamson of being one of those who engaged in an improbable conspiracy to ruin his reputation through associations with prostitutes and misappropriation of union funds.

Last week, when the Victorian police fraud squad invited Thomson to name those he believes are involved in the conspiracy, he declined to do so. Responding via the Labor Party’s law firm, Holding Redlich, he said he would name people in Parliament.

That day has come. Thomson is scheduled to address Parliament at midday. He will seek to place reasonable doubt into the narrative that has thus far condemned him. The level of scrutiny and scepticism will be intense.

The whole soap opera around Thomson has succeeded in postponing any legal day of judgment until after a full three-year term has run its course. Thanks to these tactics, used by the Prime Minister on down, and thanks to the support of Thomson by the Greens and independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, the Labor-Greens-Windsor-Oakeshott coalition appears unlikely to ever breach solidarity over Thomson.

Bucket loads of popcorn are required this arvo, to watch this unfold.

Save the union movement or do good for Australia?

Sky News

No wonder Julia Gillard is getting pasted in the polls and looks likely to send a corrupt and inept Labor Party to the opposition benches for a long stretch.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and union leaders have promised ACTU conference delegates they will rescue Australia’s shrinking, scandal-ridden trade union movement by enforcing zero tolerance for corrupt practices.

Unions are failing just like the churches are losing membership. Unions are corrupt. Churches cover up boy buggering. This is not the central problem, the central problem is many people in society no longer see a need for ideology at the expense of pragmatism.

Someone needs to get through to Julia her job is to lead Australia, not protect the corrupt union movement. If she really cared about the unions she would have sorted out Craig Thomson rather than keeping him in parliament to preserve her majority.

I don’t believe New Zealand unions are all law abiding, honest and abhor corruption either.  We will have our own union scandal, and it will be matched with a scandal that our lazy, bias mainstream media have not dug into obvious stories.  We have the Meatworkers who have hidden $4m per year from members and authorities and no one in the MSM has yet investigated “shed funds” which would be a good starting point for these guys.

That’s the spirit

Tony Abbott has got into the spirit of things with dealing with stroppy unions:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he is not fazed by the threat of an ACTU campaign aimed at stopping him winning power at next year’s federal election.

ACTU secretary-in-waiting Dave Oliver has pledged to mobilise the communtiy in a fight against Mr Abbott, signalling his intent to transform the peak union body into a ‘‘vigorous, high-profile, campaigning organisation’’.

But the Opposition Leader told Channel 9 this morning that he was untroubled by the prospect: ‘‘I’m going to go to the election with credible alternative policies that are based on mainstream Australian values. Let him do his worst.’’