We’re part of the union …

Williamson, who ran the HSU as his personal fiefdom from 1995 until 2011, pleaded guilty to several counts of defrauding the union of close to a $1 million and enlisting family and friends to cover up his crimes.

What Williamson has been jailed for was only the tip of the iceberg. He had been defrauding the union for almost two decades.

Michael Williamson, former federal president of the Australian Labor Party, has been sentenced to 7½ years in jail with a five-year non-parole period. Craig Thomson, former ALP member of parliament currently on bail pending an appeal against his conviction for dishonesty, was his protegé at the HSU. You can read more <HERE>.

I wonder if the Obeids will one day join him.

Driving home a bargain …

During Labor’s watch Ford announced that it would cease manufacturing in Australia in 2016. Labor blamed the world economy.

Last year, Miss Gillard, with a little help from South Australia and Victoria, divvied up $275 million to ensure that Holden didn’t do the same thing. She was proud to say …

And the good news is that the future of General Motors is now secure in this country for the next decade.

and she concluded her speech with thanks all round including …

the union representatives who are here, people who represent a highly skilled workforce who have wanted to work with us to secure the future

Holden have announced that they will be bailing, not in ten but five years. This is no longer the fault of the world economy. Labor would now have it that it is Mr Abbott alone who is to blame.

How long before Toyota pull the pin? Could it have something to do with those wonderful unions working with them to secure the future …

The Toyota enterprise agreement lists its “purpose” as “to achieve TMCA’s success as a Global Company” yet no single business contract could guarantee its failure more. This document, as much as Holden’s, reflects an extraordinary level of union control over daily workplace organisation.

When Toyota wants to hire someone, a union (employee) representative must sit in every single job interview as “an observer”…. A table in the agreement sets out exactly how many union representatives the company has to have in every section of the workplace and 10 paid union training days a year is given to union reps.

Toyota is allowed to hire casuals only from “time to time” and not at all without union agreement, although agreement must not be “unreasonably withheld”. Casuals can perform only the “agreed specified tasks” for the “agreed specified period” mandated by the union. “The maximum period for which a Casual Employee can work continuously on a full-time basis is one month” and any casual around for six months must be made a permanent employee.

Contract labour can be hired only after Toyota reaches “agreement with the relevant Union official and Employee (union) Representative”. Contractors around for 12 months must be made permanent employees.

This means Toyota can never really have a hiring freeze but are continually bound to a destructive cycle of taking people on before eventually having to make them redundant….

Over-staffing must be a big problem because the agreement mandates one team leader to look after “between 5-7 process workers”. Supervisors, whose base rates range from $75,000 to $103,000, are forbidden from helping with workloads…

If Toyota needs to dismiss someone, an outrageous procedure of at least three years and three months continuous disciplinary action is required before dismissal can occur. This defies belief. Grace Collier. The Australian.

One down …

Michael Williamson has pleaded guilty to plundering the Health Services Union of getting on for a million dollars. The one time president of the Australian Labor Party and head of the Health Services Union was being paid $513,294 per year at the time. Jail looks likely.

Wouldn’t trust union officials as far as I could throw’em. You would have to wonder why the ALP recruits so heavily from that arena.

Albo in …

I happened to hear Mr Shorten’s press conference as I was driving the other day. He made a speech tossing his hat into the ring and outlining the qualities that would make him a good Labor leader. Galvanizing, electrifying, inspiring, renewing are all words that you don’t need to describe it. Three years of that, I thought, and I’ll die of boredom. Albo has, at last, announced that he too will run. I suspect he is intellectually the inferior but, gee, he offers much more entertainment. Good on yer, Albo.

Recycling …

Peter Beattie on Kevni …

No one should ever forget the damage that he has done.

Sources close to the prime minister tell me that other celebrity candidates are under consideration.

Following the outstanding success of Bob Carr and the shot in the arm that Peter Beattie has given the campaign in Queensland, former state labor politicians are considered very marketable properties. Even as we speak Eddy Obeid and Ian MacDonald are being recruited to run in marginal seats. Eddy is particularly attractive because the campaign is somewhat strapped for cash and rumour has it that Eddy has a quid or two stashed away.

Trust me …

We are at the end of a boom.

The money has been rolling in. Things get tougher from here. We should be cashed up and ready to respond to tighter times. We’re not.

Why not? Well, two terms of Labor government have a lot to do with that, and Mr Rudd reduces the issue to the question “Who do you trust?”. He does seem to be making it very easy.

Even the Fin Review, a Fairfax rag can tell you the answer. It does its best to soften the blow for Labor, the Telegraph puts it more bluntly …

 

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