Poor union workers

…from the quill of Antisthenes

As tempting as it may be to write about the Craig Thomson affair, I shall refrain. After all, what do I know about the nitty-gritty details of the relentless struggle for workers rights by intrepid union officials? I turned instead to the press; and first I found Grace Collier writing in today’s The Australian:

…the misappropriation and theft of union members funds are sadly routine occurrences in parts of the union movement. Even Fair Work Australia seems to find it hard to get energised on the matter. Although it has been investigating the Thomson allegations, which he vehemently denies, for two years, no outcome has been achieved. This failure to provide timely answers to union members about what happened to such large sums of money suggests they should not be the body responsible for policing the financial conduct of unions.

Annually, well over $1.3 billion of members’ money is given to Australian unions. The spending of that money is left entirely to the discretion of a small group of union secretaries who operate in a largely unregulated financial setting. Of course, not every union boss is a thief, but the system is just too open to abuse and it’s far too easy to stray without fear of discovery.”

Elsewhere I found the earlier report, from September, 1980 in fact:

Norm Gallagher, the Secretary of the Builders’ Labourers Federation, and professed champion of the workers, had feathered his own nest to the tune of $100,000, a Royal Commission into the Federation was told today. The counsel assisting the Commission, Peter O’Callaghan, QC, said property developers paid for work worth about $100,000 on beach houses for Mr Gallagher and his son. The Commission is inquiring into whether the union or any part of it has been used for illegal, improper or corrupt purposes, and whether any officials have demanded or received rewards beyond normal duties.

I hope it all ends well, not as usual.

 

About Antisthenes

A Greek philosopher, a pupil of Socrates. Led a revolt, with Diogenes, against the demands of the city-state and the sophistication of life. Accepted the interrelation of knowledge, virtue, and happiness; and sought the ideal condition for happiness in return to primitivism and self-sufficiency. Rejected all social distinctions as based on convention, scorned orthodox religion as a fabrication of lies, and studied early legends and animal life in order to arrive at a true understanding of natural law. The individual was free and self-sufficient when he was master of his passions, secure in his intelligence, impervious to social or religious demands, and satisfied with the poverty of a mendicant. Needless to say, a person who on the Fog of Chaos adopted the Athenian philosopher's name has nothing whatsoever in common with him.
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9 Responses to Poor union workers

  1. rosencrantz says:

    I would like to refer readers to Tim Blair’s blog of 29-08, to an item called “Unions gone wild”. It is worth reading in its entirety, but if you are too busy, note that Craig Thomson’s “Health and Research Employees Association has given Labor more than $700,000 over the last decade”. Union members may be pleased that at least there is some consistency in the dispersal of their, compulsorily extracted money – it all goes to the prostitutes of various kinds.

  2. The union does on the micro, what the socialists do in the macro, it’s scalable!

  3. Pingback: Money must be funny | Fog of Chaos

  4. Herr Bork says:

    Today on ABC some second-rate trade union official said it is an insult to 2 million Australian unionists to talk about thieving and corruption in Aussie unions. In another sense, it is.. the current, sheep like members are an insult to former membership and to the trade union ideals.

  5. True Unbeliever says:

    Shorten, Combet, gillard etc trying to say that this corruption is something new and unusual is just good eneough for the tame media and for people with no memories. Norm Gallagher was steaaling in 1980!

  6. Ulises says:

    I would like to refer readers to Tim Blair’s blog of 29-08, to an item claeld Unions gone wild . It is worth reading in its entirety, but if you are too busy, note that Craig Thomson’s Health and Research Employees Association has given Labor more than $700,000 over the last decade . Union members may be pleased that at least there is some consistency in the dispersal of their, compulsorily extracted money it all goes to the prostitutes of various kinds.

  7. Dhingz says:

    I would like to refer readers to Tim Blair’s blog of 29-08, to an item celald Unions gone wild . It is worth reading in its entirety, but if you are too busy, note that Craig Thomson’s Health and Research Employees Association has given Labor more than $700,000 over the last decade . Union members may be pleased that at least there is some consistency in the dispersal of their, compulsorily extracted money it all goes to the prostitutes of various kinds.

  8. River Man says:

    We will have to get rid of the unions then.

  9. Nino Monte says:

    Hеllo, I enjoy reading үour article ρost. But – it serves them right

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