A few years back the NSW Labor Party stole over $700,000 of taxpayers money from two government departments which was laundered through the Transport Workers Union into Labor Party bank accounts. One of the key players, Tony Sheldon, was also caught in relation to a slush fund he had set up where a lot of the money is still unaccounted for. Sound familiar?
Tony Sheldon is now the National Vice President of the Australian Labor Party as well as the National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) not to mention one of the biggest thieves in the country.
It is worth revisiting as it happened only a couple of years ago and the Labor Party claim the Health Services Union corruption was a one-off and the vast majority of unions are run honestly. This is also tied into a judicial corruption post I will do in the near future.
Theft and money laundering – How the scam worked
From 2002 to 2008 a total of $733,905 from two government departments overseen by the then NSW Minister for Industrial Relations, John Della Bosca, found its way into the bank accounts of the NSW Transport Workers Union run by his mate the then state and current national secretary of the TWU Tony Sheldon.
$660,905 came from Workcover NSW which went straight into the TWU bank accounts and $73,000 from the Motor Accidents Authority which went into another bank account of the TWU called “Concerned Families of Australian Truckies”.
John Della Bosca said it had nothing to do with him but “An article in Australian Transport News magazine from 2000 said Concerned Families of Australian Truckies had had a seminar sponsored by the NSW Motor Accidents Authority “following discussions with the NSW special minister of state John Della Bosca”. (Click here to read more)
So Mr Della Bosca was caught out lying. Yes that is the same John Della Bosca who is married to the former federal MP Belinda Neal who was made to do an anger management course after the infamous Iguanagate scandal.
“So the difference between taxpayer-funded grants going to the TWU and Labor party donations coming out of the TWU, the difference is only one per cent. And over a six year period, that must be more than coincidence.”
“The TWU-run fund, titled Concerned Families of Australian Truckies, was one beneficiary of the money and the chairwoman is Judith Penton. Her husband, Bruce Penton is a senior TWU official. He has run previously Belinda Neal’s election campaign.”
“Belinda Neal is the wife of John Della Bosca, and Belinda Neal recently praised Bruce Penton and the TWU boss Tony Sheldon in her inaugural speech to Federal Parliament since her re-election.”
“Reba Meagher has worked for the TWU. Paul McLeay, a Ministerial aspirant, Noreen Hay, Kristina Keneally and Diane Beamer all received donations that weren’t declared by the union. Other Labor Ministers, John Watkins, Matt Brown and Verity Firth received donations from the TWU, as did Labor MPs Andrew Macdonald, Richard Amery, David Borger and David Harris.”
“Now this is taxpayers’ money. The public are entitled to know whether it’s being used to prop up Labor Party election campaigns.” (Click here to read more)
Another day another slush fund
Tony Sheldon created a slush fund in 1998 which he called a training fund which he gave the title the “Industrial Rights and Training Fund”. Some of the key elements of this slush fund were:
1. “contributions to the TWU’s Industrial Rights and Training Fund were made at the
cost of a discount to the workers’ pay rise” The workers got ripped off by Tony Sheldon to pay for this slush fund.
2. “union delegates said they were never told their union’s leadership had signed
this side deal in the midst of wage negotiations“
3. “In one example treated as typical, the Blue Collar labour hire firm agreed to
pay the TWU 1 per cent of its total payroll for the union’s members employed
with Qantas in Sydney” “the deal – personally signed off by TWU state secretary Tony Sheldon – was made at the same time Blue Collar employees stood to suffer a 30 per cent pay cut.” (Click here to read more)
4. Others who coughed up were: “more than 40 firms included Dairy Farmers handing over $500,000; Manpower, $141,000; Advance Recruiting, $124,000; Adecco, $107,000; Linfox, $104,000; Blue Collar, $85,000; Action James, $71,000; Collex, $33,000; Ausdoc, $15,000; and on it went.“
5. Tony Sheldon was meant to set up a “bipartisan board of union-employer people who would decide how the money should be spent for the benefit of TWU members” from the Industrial Rights and Training Fund. Sheldon never did set up the “bipartisan board” “despite wage agreements saying explicitly that this would happen.” It really shows what a thieving grub Tony Sheldon is.
6. “He did not separate the training fund from the TWU’s general ledger. He did not separately audit the activities of the fund. And the definition of how it could be spent was very broad.” So I wonder what he did spend all the money on. Obviously plenty went to Labor Party candidates, but what else? (Click here to read plenty more)
Not much changed. Two years later and things were still the same.
“TRUCKING firms are still pouring money into a secretive Transport Workers Union slush fund almost two years after investigations found the fund lacked transparency and was riddled with audit problems.”
“The union and its then state secretary, Tony Sheldon, were engulfed in controversy when the so-called training fund was first exposed. Union members had been unaware their employers, including Linfox, Dairy Farmers and Toll, had been secretly making payments to the union while it was also negotiating wage agreements. But since then little has changed.” (Click here to read more)
Other handiwork by Tony Sheldon
“In 1990 he and other officials were found guilty of ballot rigging a union election – though Sheldon maintains that a conviction for the offence was never entered.” No wonder he keeps his position at the TWU. In the above link it says “He said the allegations were 15years old and “no conviction was entered, to my recollection“
And “By 1999 he had become secretary of the TWU’s powerful NSW branch, one of the ALP’s biggest donors. Sheldon’s sway within Labor was bolstered by a close alliance with Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson, with the two unions voting in lockstep at party conferences.” As we know Michael Williamson is now facing criminal charges. (Click here to read more)
Relevance to today
On the 2nd of December 2011 Tony Sheldon started a three-year term as a Vice President of the Australian Labor Party. (There are two Vice Presidents) He is nothing more than a common criminal and should be facing charges along with his good mate Michael Williamson and everyone in the Labor Party knows this but they say nothing.
How much of the above in relation to the slush fund has the same characteristics of the Julia Gillard / Bruce Wilson AWU fraud? Plenty!
And like I said at the start there is a link in the above to judicial corruption which I will write about in a future post.
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