Shorten’s union faces probe over inflated figures

Original article by Brad Norington
The Australian – Page: 4 : 22-Aug-19

The Australian Worker’s Union is under scrutiny over its membership data, with the issue being the subject of long-running correspondence between the union and the Registered Organisations Commission. The ROC asked the AWU to undertake an internal audit of its membership numbers in 2018, amid concerns that the numbers may have been overstated. A preliminary analysis shows that the AWU had 69,786 members in 2017, compared with 139,329 in 2012. Former Labor leader Bill Shorten headed the AWU prior to entering parliament in 2007.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, GETUP LIMITED

Senate crossbench jury out on union bashing bills

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 30-Jul-19

The federal government needs the support of Senate crossbenchers to pass its Ensuring Integrity Bill. Cory Bernardi has indicated that he will support it, leaving the government to get three more votes. One Nation, Centre Alliance and Jacquie Lambie have five votes between them, but they are all are undecided at the moment. Both One Nation and Centre Alliance have indicated that they would like to see the legislation amended so that it is more in harmony with corporate law, although the government is of the opinion that this is already the case. The bill has been referred to a Senate committee and will not be debated until October.

CORPORATES
ONE NATION PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE, ACTU, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS

It is time we all acted on the unions’ lawlessness

Original article by James Pearson
The Australian – Page: 14 : 26-Jul-19

The Ensuring Integrity Bill aims to make registered organisations accountable for their actions in the same way as banks and corporations are held to account for their wrongdoings. The proposed legislation will apply equally to unions and employers’ associations, yet the former oppose it and the latter support it. This raises the question of why unions are reluctant to be held to account. Registered organisations and the individuals who run them enjoy special rights and privileges, and the bill will help to restore public confidence in them.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, BUILDERS’ LABOURERS’ FEDERATION

Showdown brewing over union ban laws

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 23-Jul-19

ACTU president Michele O’Neill has expressed concern that a key provision of the federal government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill could be misused. It allows any party with a vested interest to apply to the Federal Court to have a union official disqualified. O’Neill warns that this provision could be exploited in order to remove union officials for relatively minor breaches. Attorney-General Christian Porter has downplayed such concerns, arguing that the bill is consistent with Australia’s international obligations.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Hues of Brazil dictatorship in anti-union bill

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 18-Jul-19

The Ensuring Integrity Bill’s compliance with international conventions to which Australia is a signatory has been called into question. The International Centre for Trade Union Rights claims that the bill breaches international conventions regarding freedom of association and collective bargaining. Amongst other things, the bill is aimed at making it easier to deregister unions and to ban union officials. The federal government hopes the bill will be passed by the lower house within weeks.

CORPORATES
INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR TRADE UNION RIGHTS, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION

Revamped bill to test ALP on forcing out rogue union bosses

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 17-Jul-19

The House of Representatives is slated to vote on the federal government’s amended Ensuring Integrity Bill within weeks. There have been significant changes to the bill in response to Labor’s concerns about the proposed legislation, but shadow industrial relations minister Tony Burke has warned that the amendments are insufficient and are also likely to be opposed by Labor. The bill is aimed at making it easier to deregister unions and ban union officials.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Coalition to strike amid Setka strife

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 13-Jun-19

Labor has been urged to support the federal government’s Ensuring ­Integrity Bill in the wake of the controversy surrounding Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & ­Energy Union official John Setka. Labor opposed the bill – which amongst other things would allow courts to disqualify union officials for repeated breaches of civil law – in the previous parliament. Setka has refused to stand down as the CFMMEU’s Victorian secretary in the wake of comments he allegedly made about domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, while Labor leader Anthony Albanese is seeking to have him expelled from the party.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION, UNITED VOICE

CFMEU’s election windfall

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 18 & 19 : 15-Apr-19

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union has been fined some $7.9m in total since 2016, due to legal action instigated by the Australian Building & Construction Commission. The CFMMEU will benefit significantly if Labor wins the federal election and pushes ahead with plans to scrap the ABCC. The militant union and its officials would face much lower financial penalties for breaches of the Fair Work Act, while Labor would also abolish the national construction code. Meanwhile, employers’ groups are not unduly concerned about a potential conflict of interest for shadow workplace relations minister Brendan O’Connor, whose brother is the national president of the CFMMEU.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE

ABCC cracks down on CFMEU right of entry

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 12-Nov-18

The Australian Building & Construction Commission is cracking down on Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union officials who try to exploit "right of entry" loopholes. One such official, Brendan Murphy, is facing thousands of dollars in fines after the Federal Court found that he had gained access to a construction site at a Victorian school by signing its guest registry. He refused to show his right of entry permit to the contractor’s site manager, and then stated that he was going to shut the site down over safety concerns. Federal Court Justice Debbie Mortimer said Murphy’s safety concerns were "contrived", and that he did not care about right of entry laws.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Union laws facing Senate stumbling block

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 19-Sep-18

The crossbenchers may determine the fate of the federal government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill, which will be put to the Senate on 19 September. Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick says the party may support the bill, although this would be conditional on certain amendments. Other independent senators are also still considering their stance on the bill, although Tim Storer has ruled out supporting it. He is particularly concerned about the provisions that allow union officials to be disqualified for misconduct, noting that the sanctions are tougher than those for company directors under the Corporations Act.

CORPORATES
CENTRE ALLIANCE, LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY, AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATIVES, UNITED AUSTRALIA PARTY, ONE NATION PARTY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET