Here I post articles exposing PM Turnbull and Minister Cash using the AFP to try to smear the AWU and Shorten by again undermining workers’ basic rights to associate and combine together in unions and to engage in political campaigns against the LNP/corporate bosses.
ACTU Change the Rules campaign http://www.australianunions.org.au/change_the_rules
Waleed Aly “The AWU raid was clearly a political act” October 27 2017
…”That the initial complaint came from the government itself, and was directed at the leader of its main political rival makes this an instantly political act.
Then add the fact that the ROC, on whose behalf the AFP was acting, is a creature of the trade unions royal commission – a process whose entire being had clear political overtones. But it’s also the fact that the suspected wrongdoing here was already examined in the royal commission, and seems so relatively banal.
(ACTU explains the ROC https://www.facebook.com/AustralianUnions/videos/1679483072150309/)
At issue is a $100,000 donation to a like-minded political activist group. When you consider that unions are political beasts that frequently donate to fellow travellers – not least political candidates – the donation seems utterly unremarkable. Sure, it would be illegitimate if not properly authorised by the union’s executive. And perhaps one day we’ll learn that it wasn’t.
But the problem for the government from the beginning is that it seems an entirely plausible thing for the executive to have decided, leaving it to fire up over missing paperwork and the like.
That’s not to say such decisions should be above the law. But it is to say that if there’s wrongdoing here, it doesn’t quite seem to match the muscular imagery of the raid – imagery at least one Liberal Party staffer was keen to ensure would be broadcast to the world. And imagery that allows Malcolm Turnbull to intone gravely: “Bill Shorten has questions to answer.”
Questions to answer. What a phrase that has turned out to be in Australian politics. You might remember the last time it was invoked: when Tony Abbott was hounding Julia Gillard over her dealings with the AWU back in the 1990s.and more…
It is one thing looking for political advantages where you can, seeking to frame your opponents in damaging ways and prosecuting a sustained line of attack. But it’s quite another to weaponise important institutions for the task.”
Read whole article here
From Doug Cameron, ALP Senator: “Turnbull and Cash must explain why 32 Federal Police raid the offices of the AWU over what – at best – could be a civil breach. Nigel Hadgkiss, former ABCC Commissioner is allowed to resign and receives two weeks pay when he egregiously breached the Act that he was supposed to uphold. Yet a possible administrative breach attracts 32 Federal Police and the media to the AWU offices. Working people in this country have internationally guaranteed rights to belong to free, independent unions. This right is being trashed by this desperate Turnbull government.” See Doug here https://www.facebook.com/senator.doug.cameron/videos/1407883095998749/
“Anthony Albanese had been out early yesterday saying “we know that Senator Cash’s office was ringing around media organisations yesterday afternoon, telling them that this was going to occur”. Who alerted the media to the raid was always going to be an issue of concern to Labor. The government even understood this — Cash met with Turnbull yesterday before Question Time to assure him she had not personally alerted the media (which no one had ever suggested, and which would be absurd — ministers have staff to do that sort of thing). Cash had also asked her office if anyone had told the media and, she says, been told they had not. The Cash staff member who did alert the media, David De Garis, was present at the meeting with the PM, but apparently said nothing to his minister or the Prime Minister to alert them to his actions or the fact that he had misled his minister.”
Update: October 30 –Unions demand answers over new twist in Michaelia Cash police raids scandal by Adam Gartrell
The AWU raids reveal the strange nexus between the Turnbull government, the federal police, The Australian newspaper and the new unions commission.
By Mike Seccombe.
AWU raid something is deeply wrong with how unions are treated in australia
Coalition’s night terrors play out in public as kill Bill missive backfires
Cold, Hard (Michaelia) Cash Lies To Parliament And The People
By Ben Eltham on November 2, 2017
Alex White Secretary Unions ACT: “The Liberal party hates everything unions stand for. They hate the very concept of working people joining together to improve work and society for everyone. That’s why they are attacking us so fiercely, that’s why they are abusing the power of the State and directing the AFP to raid union offices.
But no matter what, we’ll always be here. No matter how many cops they send, we will never back down.
The scale of attack against workers’ unions by this government is unprecedented in Australian history, while the Federal Liberal are colluding with big banks and multinational corporations to enable company tax avoidance and wage-theft.”
Sally McManus ACTU writes “What the AWU raids tell us about the Turnbull government”
The politically motivated raids of a workers’ union this week, put on for camera crews tipped off in time to catch the farce, are symptomatic of a bigger problem facing working people in Australia today. The Turnbull government has one set of harsh rules for working people and their unions and another, far more flexible set, for the big end of town.
Unions are now the most highly regulated organisations in the country. And we are regulated by a politicised organisation, working closely with a union-hating government that constantly leaks to the media.
Imagine if such a body existed for the banks, for big business or for political parties. It’s unthinkable under this government, which is shamefully shielding the banks from a royal commission and handing out tax cuts to big businesses that already find creative ways to pay hardly any tax.
On the other hand, the government has passed laws that make basic union activities to help working people illegal. The Registered Organisations Commission and the ABCC have been given extraordinary and undemocratic powers to attack working people and their unions, which we’ve seen on display this week.”
“The government has more anti-worker laws before the Parliament, which will give the Registered Organisations Commission more power. One will make it illegal for unions to manage insurance funds for redundant workers. The other will give big business or the minister the power to deregister unions and block union mergers.
These bills are anti-democratic and designed to drive down wages and put more workers in casual work. They will make the work of unions harder.”
Sally McManus FB on TV the 7.30 report
For background on the TURC Dyson Heydon attack on unions seehttp://chriswhiteonline.org/2016/01/dyson-dumps-turc-on-workers/
Minister Cash is introducing extreme provisions against unions that have to be defeated. These are a number of Bills into the Senate during the week commencing Monday 13 November 2017 which aim to weaken trade unions and undermine industry superannuation funds. It is important that the Senate reject these Bills which in attempting to weaken the political power of government’s opponents will actually harm working men and women.
The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2017 and the Fair Work Laws Amendment (Proper Use of Worker Benefits) Bill 2017 will give Minister Cash and the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) greater power to harass unions and undermine workers’ rights and protections.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 1) Bill 2017, Superannuation Laws Amendment (Strengthening Trustee Arrangement) Bill 2017, and Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation seek to give banks greater access to workers superannuation and in doing so would threaten the benefits that worker derive from investing their retirement saving into low cost high performing industry superannuation funds. These Bills should be rejected on their merits regardless of the circumstances. It is also doubly important for the Senate to send a strong signal to the government that it is not prepared to deal with highly controversial and contestable legislation without knowing whether all members of Parliament have been legitimately elected! from NTEU
Michaelia Cash and the rogue staffer: when political theatre goes off-script
Stop the union witch hunts
by PIP HINMAN
That the Coalition is trying to clamp down on the unions, and campaigning organisations such as GetUp!, by pushing tighter restrictions on their ability to campaign goes to the heart of the battle over freedom of political expression.https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/stop-witch-hunts
Between a ROC and a desperate government
06 NOVEMBER 2017
Malcolm Farr “PM Turnbull can’t completely distance himself from the swoop on AWU offices.
AFP acted independently but the government has left fingerprints in the sudden revival of interest in the GetUp donation. http://www.news.com.au/national/politics/pm-turnbull-cant-completely-distance-himself-from-the-swoop-on-awu-offices/news-story/2ea32a242159448f59b3c1a3dda04275
Malcolm Turnbull’s overreach in raids on Bill Shorten’s former union
by Royce Millar and Ben Schneiders
Secretary AWU Walton responds
Pressure on Cash to resign
Talking Point: Another attack on champions of the battlers
JESSICA MUNDAY, Mercury
October 18, 2017
“IT seems that whenever the Federal Government is in political trouble it reverts to attacking and demonising unions. Its latest attempt to make life difficult for unions comes in the form of the disingenuously titled legislation, the Registered Organisations (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2017.
This Bill is about anything but integrity. It’s a politically motivated attack on unions which will ultimately hurt all workers if it passes the Parliament.
This legislation will mean members are less likely to volunteer with their unions, allows employers and even ministers to interfere with the running of unions and would impose higher standards and tougher penalties on unions and their officials than the Corporations Act does to big business. This is what we now expect from the Turnbull Government. It’s one rule for the big end of town and another for working people.
Unions are not-for-profit organisations. The average union has 18,000 members and $5.75 million in income. They are run by a mostly unpaid and volunteer committee or board. Comparatively, the executives of the Commonwealth Bank are paid collectively $50 million in a year, they have over 16 million customers and a total income of over $23 billion.
How is it that the laws are harsher for unions than for one of the Big Four banks? Why should it be easier to sack a union leader than a CEO?
The Turnbull Government would never propose these laws for big business.” read more
Similarly, the ABCC attack on building unions
ABCC legal counsel Anthony Southall quits as Hadgkiss’ actions make role ‘untenable’
Read more: http://www.afr.com/news/policy/industrial-relations/abcc-legal-counsel-anthony-southall-quits-as-hadgkiss-actions-make-role-untenable-20171023
And corporations use police to smash unions read here of one Australian example
Glencore ordered to stop ‘quasi-militaristic’ surveillance of CFMEU members
The use of private police forces to squash workers combination and union activity is not new. It started with the creation of unionism back in the late 18th century. On this occasion, it’s gone too far even under our broken Fair Work Act.
As well, ASIO is a threat to democracy …http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2017/10/20/asio-civil-liberties-concern/
At the same time…
Pay rises in enterprise agreements slump to ‘worst ever’ recorded
And LNP cuts to penalty rates creates new poor