Pres­sure’s on Shorten

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION - SHAUN NEW­MAN, Townsville.

BE­ING some­one who ac­tu­ally watched Bill Shorten’s ap­pear­ance be­fore the royal com­mis­sion into union cor­rup­tion, I found the ev­i­dence against him com­pelling.

Not the least of which was both a $ 40,000 do­na­tion to his 2007 elec­toral cam­paign, which he de­layed declar­ing un­til a week ago, and his fee­ble ex­pla­na­tion of the rip- off deal he struck in 2004 to ben­e­fit the AWU and disad­van­tage the ac­tual work­ing peo­ple who were AWU mem­bers in­volved in the clean­ing com­pany which fi­nan­cially sup­ported Shorten with pay­ments to his cam­paign man­ager.

In ad­di­tion, the $ 300,000 deal with a con­struc­tion com­pany be­cause the com­pany wanted to deal with the AWU – one of Aus­tralia’s weak­est unions – in­stead of the more pow­er­ful CFMEU who ac­tu­ally stand up for their mem­bers, to me, looked very dodgy.

One can see the at­trac­tion from the com­pany’s point of view; with the AWU the com­pany could do as they pleased with re­gards to en­ter­prise agree­ments and safety with weak rep­re­sen­ta­tion from AWU branch sec­re­taries. The alarm­ing rate of deaths at work in the con­struc­tion sec­tor re­ally does need strong union rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the ground with re­gard to strict safety mea­sures.

The se­ries of deals ex­posed in the royal com­mis­sion ex­poses the AWU method­ol­ogy of pro­tect­ing their union and the com­pany over and above their own mem­bers which is dis­grace­ful and should be stamped out. This and other clay­ton’s unions should be struck off the books of the ACTU, be­cause their in­ac­tion on be­half of their mem­bers brings the whole union move­ment into dis­re­pute.

I was a mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Ser­vices Union and I found them very sup­port­ive and keen to rep­re­sent my best in­ter­ests.

UN­DER SCRU­TINY: Bill Shorten leaves the Royal Com­mis­sion into Trade Union Gov­er­nance and Cor­rup­tion.

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