Stephen Conroy suggested all unionists are involved with “slush funds”. Julia Gillard agrees, and she should know.
They are both correct.
Slush funds are used for election of unionists to official union positions. Such elections are expensive, intimidating and often involve violence and bribery. The stakes are high and internal power plays are the main game. Lucrative rewards at the top fairly equate to the viciousness of the contest.
The AWU is Australia’s biggest and most corrupt union. Myriad other unions, including the BLF and the HSU (East Branch) mimic the corrupt practices. How can they all get away with it? Simply because they can.
The union turmoil in Melbourne today is emblematic of the wider modus operandi of union bosses.
Union bosses are militant by nature because they need to be.
Personal fraudulent riches abound for the successful union boss. That’s why these union offices are so viciously fought for.
The Union boss needs to shove the employer around a bit… soften him up, displaying his ability to cost the employer a small fortune.
He needs to work union members into a frenzy so they will support the “social justice” of a crippling strike. Only then, after he has proved his ability to marshal his forces, can he threaten the now fearful employer with further action. The employer now understands the successful union boss’s power.
The employer, whose ultimate responsibility is to his shareholders, now knows this union boss sitting opposite can cost the company millions. A simple donation of $50,000, tax free, to a “Workers Welfare Fund” or some other account, in order to prevent potential millions lost, appears to the employer to be prudent corporate governance.
The employer may suspect, but doesn’t question, the nomenclature of this “Welfare” account because if he knows this to be a fraudulent account he necessarily becomes complicit in the fraud. He cannot legally be a part of that, or the deal would fall apart. So he doesn’t ask and doesn’t want to know.
Now the union boss is in complete charge of these tax-free funds. He can wheel and deal and can afford the cost of his and others’ re-election. He is now highly-respected within the union movement and aspires to the next echelon of powerbrokers within the ALP.
If he attains ALP power brokerage status, he has at his disposal ALP safe seats to play with. This is where money, nepotism and corruption really come to the fore. This is why we have ALP Members of Parliament who have difficulty tying their own shoelaces.
And this fierce competition is why various factions, all jostling for power, are prevalent within the Labor Party: The Left, the Socialist Left, the Centre Unity, Center Left, Labor Forum, Labor Unity, NSW Right, the Old Guard and more. Deals are done between factions. Julia Gillard was moved from the Socialist Left to align with the NSW right and the AWU faction in order to attain the Prime Minister ship.
Without the AWU's 'Big Bill' Ludwig's approval, Gillard would not be Prime Minister. She wildly sang his praises at the latest ALP Conference.
Kevin Rudd belongs to no faction and met his predictable death as a result. But in the past 20 years all this has become more sophisticated. Law degrees are now the go.
Law degrees are not that hard to attain…you can have an IQ of 10 and get one on-line. But once attained you can walk into a job in corrupt Left wing law firms like Maurice Blackburn and Slater &Gordon. There are others but these two are the biggest and are nurseries for future ALP Members of Parliament.
The irony of these despicable firms is that they become obscenely wealthy on the backs of the disadvantaged.
Their “no win no fee” advertising slogan is misleading.
If they lose, the poor litigant is up for the costs of the respondent… and that can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars lost to the already bereft litigant.
If they win, these foul law firms have been known to take up to 90% of the litigant’s settlement. Slater & Gordon’s subsidiary law firm Keddies’ directors have been recently convicted of gross overcharging involving millions. Blatant theft is a better description.
Julia Gillard, Nicola Roxon, Bill Shorten and many others in the ALP are graduates of these infamous law firms. Champions of the worker? I think not.
Now we can understand why there is such vicious competitiveness within union structures. Demarcation disputes between unions alone have cost thousands of jobs and billions in losses to employers, yet employers and union members have little interest in what union covers what employee.
We are now faced with union thugs like the AWU's illiterate Paul (Piggy) Howes having control of tens of billions in Aussies’ superannuation funds.
How do I know this?
I was an Organiser (a collector of union dues) in the Communist Australian Railways Union in the early 60s.
Secretary, Comrade J.J. Brown, travelled regularly to the Kremlin on study tours. Now Muscovites regularly travel here to learn the ropes.
Wealth and filthy power is not the unique domain of the corporate world.