Kathy Jackson

Dodgy ALP ratbag pleads guilty

Despite pleading innocence for months on end, the dodgy ALP ratbag, Michael Williamson has finally pleaded guilty.

Former Australian Labor Party president Michael Williamson has pleaded guilty to funnelling almost $1 million from the Health Services Union (HSU) to businesses he had an interest in.

Williamson, who was arrested when detectives raided his Maroubra home in Sydney’s east last year, now faces jail for the offences.

The police investigation probed allegations of corruption during his time at the HSU aired by the union’s national secretary, Kathy Jackson.

He was accused of dozens of offences, including money laundering, dealing with the proceeds of crime and dishonestly dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars of union funds.? Read more »

I was set up

? Sydney Morning Herald

Seriously that was Craig Thomson?s excuse for getting busted taking cash off his union credit card and using it on hookers.

Mr Thomson, in his first interview yesterday after a damning report into his time as head of the Health Services Union, said he wanted to start ”establishing that there are two sides to a story”.

The exiled Labor MP told Channel Nine he was waiting for the benefit of parliamentary privilege to name the union official he believes set him up. He said that a union official threatened to ”set him up with a bunch of hookers” because he tried to increase transparency of the finances of the HSU.

But the union whistleblower, Kathy Jackson, predicted Mr Thomson was ”going to drop a bucket” on other HSU figures in his speech, using the protections of parliamentary privilege in a ”coward’s castle”.

Simon Oosterman probably thinks he was set up for someone telling the truth about him shamelessly using Cecil Walker and Carl Findlay in the Ports dispute.

This should happen to the Meatworkers Union

The Sydney Morning Herald

The HSU has falling membership and a corrupt leadership. So people want to put it into administration

A KEY executive of the scandal-plagued Health Services Union has called for it to be placed into administration.

Gerard Hayes, the acting deputy general secretary of the NSW branch, said the union was ”hemorrhaging members” because of the ”factional warfare” between whistleblower Kathy Jackson and the union’s head Michael Williamson, who is refusing to step down from the union he has run for 17 years.

Mr Williamson is being investigated by NSW police over allegations he received a secret commission from a major supplier to the union. He has denied any wrongdoing.

To add to the union’s woes, an internal investigation into its governance has found problems in its procurement processes.

Ian Temby, QC, who was appointed to run the inquiry following allegations of systemic corruption and nepotism, has expressed frustration at the cancellation of a second union council meeting. In a letter to the HSU’s lawyers, Slater & Gordon, dated April 24, Mr Temby said he and accountant Dennis Robertson had twice been set to hand down their interim report ”dealing mainly with the issue of procurement” but both union council meetings, including one set down for April 30, had been cancelled.

The same should happen to the dodgy Meatworkers Union who have been hiding $4m from their members every year. Someone should ask Helen Kelly where the $4m is, and what she is doing about the missing money.

Who’s Who in the Health Services Union scandal

A little information on the Health Services Union (HSU) since it?s all over?the news in Australia.

Let’s look at the cast of characters involved in the HSU:

  • Craig Thomson – New Zealand born former HSU National Secretary now ALP?Member for Dobell – 181 irregularities in the FWA report (yet to be?published) most of which will refer to Thompson’s misconduct.?Julia Gillard maintains she “still has confidence in him”!
  • Zoe Arnold – married to Craig Thomson (walked out on his first wife and?kids to marry her), former press secretary to Reba Meagher, controversial ex-NSW ALP Health Minister
  • Leo McLeay – former ALP MHR, HSU Ombudsman
  • Mark McLeay – son of Leo McLeay, brother of Paul McLeay, former (sacked?for watching porn) NSW ALP Minister; employed by Thomson
  • Mike Williamson – National President HSU, former ALP National President,?NSW ALP Vice-President, mentor to Craig Thomson
  • Alex Williamson – Daughter of Mike Williamson, staffer for Julia?Gillard
  • Natalie Bradbury – National HSU Assistant Secretary, sister of David?Bradbury, ALP member for Lindsay
  • Jeff Jackson – former State Secretary HSU, had to pay back $15,000 due?to unauthorised pay increases
  • Kathy Jackson – National Secretary HSU, ex-wife of Jeff Jackson, former?State Secretary HSU, (now whistle blower on the rorts)
  • And of course, the HSU members themselves – expected to pay up their dues?to support the above plus Thomson and his mates raunchy exploits.

Does anyone really need to ask what’s wrong with the union movement and the?ALP?

It appears that this scenario is repeated in one form or?another in most unions, most state ALP offices and of course, the national?ALP, ?which is currently?the government in Australia thanks to their cosy?factions and backroom deals with the faceless men.

It’s the same system that coughs up people like Thomson, Swan, Albanese,?Shorten, Emerson, Combet, Gillard and all the others who have slid into safe?ALP seats using union members as a tool to their progress, and not having?any other credentials for office other than being a union boss.

The poor old union members have no idea what happens to their union dues nor?have they any say in it. The elites in the union leadership (few who have?risen up through the rank and file), as the price for securing their own?pre-selection when their time comes, ensure that vast amounts of union funds?are channelled to the ALP and its election campaigns.

One can only hope that as a result of the current publicity, union members?might start to wake up to the thieving and rorting which has been going on?for years, and the huge amount of money their union leaders syphon off to?finance their personal ambitions (and sleaze and of course) as well as the?ALP.

The worry is that the more I look into union finances the more I see parallels here in New Zealand.

When Union bosses become the 1%

? Sydney Morning Herald

There is a massive scandal unfolding in Australia as more and more murk is exposed in the Health Services Union. It is becoming apparent that union bosses are positioning themselves as fat cats in the 1% by rorting and cheating their unions of cash…not to mention paying themselves huge salaries and benefits, the very actions they usually criticise the bosses of.

We are starting to see here now too that when you start looking into union monies that there appears to be significant issues in basic reporting…and that may well lead to other issues being revealed with a microscope look at the inside of unions.

Certainly no one ever thought there was a problem in Australia until Michael Williamson got caught out…now it is looking increasingly like other unions may well be ensnared in the scandal:

WHEN the lead organiser for the Health Services Union, Monique Irvine, complained last year that she was having trouble meeting her childcare costs, the union’s boss, Michael Williamson, gave her a $22,000 pay rise.

Ms Irvine is Mr Williamson’s sister-in-law. It is instances such as this extraordinary pay rise, which was not authorised by the union’s council and boosted Ms Irvine’s salary to an estimated $140,000, that have angered union members.

Mr Williamson himself is reputed to be the best-paid unionist in the country, with his $330,000 year salary boosted by the $150,000 from his various government and union-related board positions.

The union’s national secretary, Kathy Jackson, agreed at a Melbourne news conference yesterday that her own salary of $270,000 a year was ”obscene”. She blamed Mr Williamson for setting ”vastly inflated” wage figures for executives within the HSU and said she would be happy to take a substantial pay cut.

Nepotism and corruption within the union is being investigated by Ian Temby, QC, who was appointed by the union last year to carry out inquiries in the wake of allegations of wrongdoing raised by the?Herald?last September.

Mr Temby’s report is unlikely to be handed down before June as he will be overseas throughout next month.

Things are so bad that the HSU secretary has called for the state government to intervene to change the way unions run their internal elections:

Ms Jackson’s request yesterday for the state government to change the way unions run their elections has angered many union officials.

”Big money union elections means that it is now almost impossible for ordinary union members to stand for election in their own union with even a remote chance of winning,” Ms Jackson said.

”Nowhere is this more clear than in HSUeast. Michael Williamson recently bragged to another official that he had several million dollars for use in union elections. I believe the rampant corruption in HSUeast is caused in part by inadequate union election laws.”

The Premier, Barry O’Farrell, said he was ”happy to pursue what options are available in NSW to give the members of that union ? the relief they’re seeking, which is the chance to actually have an election”.

Dodgy Union Donations

A massive scandal has broken out in Australia over union donations:

The Health Services Union shelled out more than $600,000 in political donations to the ALP during 2010/11 despite amassing debts of almost $19 million.

The lion?s share of the cash-strapped union?s donations went to the NSW branch of the Labor Party to the tune of $300, 000.

The federal branch received just over $160, 000 in donations from the former union of the MP Craig Thomson.

The details of financial disclosure returns from political parties, associated entities, donors and third parties who incur political expenditures was released publicly today, revealing the extent of the HSU?s financial position.

As of June 2011, HSU East had amassed debts of $18.8 million.

The details were revealed as the national secretary of the HSU, Kathy Jackson, called for an immediate inquiry into Fair Work Australia over its investigation into the alleged misconduct of union officials, including Mr Thomson.

She said? the investigation – first flagged in 2009 – was taking far too long and raised the explosive possibility of government interference into the process.

I wonder of any unions here have been making donations despite mounting losses?

Getting interesting in Australia

Julia Gillard’s government is hovering near the precipice and things are getting very interesting, now including death threats.

THE union boss who blew the whistle on Labor MP Craig Thomson has been offered police protection after a dirt-covered shovel was dumped on her doorstep at 3.30am.

Kathy Jackson, whose actions could bring down the Gillard government, last night vowed to take on the “scumbags” who left the spade in what was an apparent threat that she was digging her own grave.

“Give it your best shot,” the Health Services Union national secretary said.

They play politics hard in Australia, but that is taking things too far.

It can also be revealed Mr Thomson’s initial defence – that he was interstate when his credit card was used to hire prostitutes – has been challenged by phone records tendered in court.

In a May, 2009, letter to the HSU lawyers, the Labor MP argued he could not have spent $2475 on a?Sydney escort agency on April 9, 2005, because “I was in Melbourne”.

But documents filed in court show he rang the escort agency on April 7/8 and also paid by credit card on those dates – before later reversing the charges and paying on a different credit card.

The cover up is always the undoing of them. Thomson now just looks like a liar. Everything he now says will be thought of as a lie.

Labor is in big trouble. There may well be an election before the year is out in Australia.