Evidence has been produced at the Trade Union Royal Commission that shows the Australian Workers Union (AWU) took bribes in recent years to rip off workers millions of dollars. Also as part of the deal the employers illegally handed over the personal details of their employees to the AWU so they could use them for what is known as “Branch Stacking”. The employees were then signed up as members of the union without their knowledge.
This gave the leadership of the AWU hundreds if not thousands of fake members which gives them more power within the Labor Party at state and national conferences etc.
Almost all unions are aligned and part of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). A union’s voting power within the ALP is directly related to how many members they have. It is common for unions to deliberately inflate the number of members they have but it is clearly an action that is corrupt.
I do not remember ever hearing of companies colluding with unions for branch stacking until hearing the evidence at the Royal Commission this week. It is probably worth the cost of the Royal Commission by itself because it shows how entrenched the corrupt collusion between the unions and companies is and has been for a long time.
It is worth having a look at the corruption and branch stacking exposed at the RC the last few days as it might have implications and/or apply to the current election for National President of the Labor Party which is in progress.
Cleanevent – (Click here for the opening statement by Counsel Assisting Jeremy Stoljar)
On Thursday and Friday the Royal Commission focused on the deal between the AWU and a company called Cleanevent which is a subsidiary of the listed company Spotless.
“Embattled state Labor MP Cesar Melhem cut a deal whereby a cleaning firm gave his union thousands of dollars in return for driving down workers’ pay, a royal commission has heard.”
“Cleanevent, a subsidiary of cleaning giant Spotless, paid the Australian Workers Union up to $25,000 a year under the agreement that traded off higher wages and casuals’ penalty rates and saved the company about $2 million in labour costs.”
“Mr Melhem, who was AWU state secretary at the time, was involved in negotiations for the unusual deal with Cleanevent that kept staff on outdated WorkChoices-era agreements and meant some were paid about $18 instead of $50 an hour.” (The $50 would be a penalty rate for working on days such as Boxing Day etc)
“He has been summonsed to face the trade union royal commission for questioning early next week.” (Click here to read more)
The actual corrupt agreement between Cleanevent and the AWU in 2010 was also signed by the then National Secretary Paul Howes who obviously has many questions to answer as well. It helps explain Mr Howes’ sudden resignation in March 2014 just as the Trade Union Royal Commission was starting. Mr Howes knew what was coming and jumped ship. (Click here to see the agreement. Signatures are on page 5)
BMD – Labour hire company (Click here for the opening statement by Counsel Assisting Jeremy Stoljar)
On Friday the Royal Commission started dealing with the Labour hire company BMD and their dodgy deal with the AWU.
“Labour hire company BMD revealed today that it paid $14,300 in 2007 and $19,800 in 2010 to keep peace with Mr Melhem and the union during pay deal negotiations.”
“BMD also sent the AWU a list of all its employees, some of whom were added to the union’s membership without their knowledge.” (Click here to read more)
The Royal Commission will hear from further witnesses regarding both Cleanevent and BMD next week.
Bill Shorten’s boy for the Labor Party National President Election – (Click here to see the candidates)
There is currently an election in progress which closes on the 12th of June 2015. All ALP members can vote for a new National President and two National Vice-Presidents. To be a member of the ALP you need to be a member of a union. So I have to wonder if all the fake members that the AWU have been collecting are also used to register fake ALP members for the election of the President and Vice-President of the ALP and other issues were members vote.
Vote rigging within the ALP was raised only a few months ago by ALP members regarding Bill Shorten’s election to leader of the party. (Click here to read more) So it is plainly a major problem within the party and unions.
One of the candidates for National President is Henry Pinskier who says:
“I am not an MP, I am not an ex MP. I am not seeking public office either now or in the future” and “I seek the nomination of ALP President without any endorsement of the factions.” (Click here to read more)
That sounds beautiful. A clean skin to fix the problems with the ALP. The problem is if you start researching Mr Henry Pinskier’s background he is not the clean skin he tries to make out.
For example one of Mr Pinskier’s daughters, Abby Pinskier, works at the HSU Victoria Number 1 Branch as a Receptionist. As regular readers of this site know there is massive fraud and theft in progress at the HSU Victoria Number 1 Branch by Bill Shorten’s supporters. (Click here and here to read more)
Ms Pinskier’s name showed up in documents tendered by Diana Asmar at the Royal Commission last year as per the picture below. (Click here to see the full document)
I wonder if Ms Pinskier’s position at the HSU was advertised or did she get the job through word of mouth.
A quick search also reveals Mr Pinskier’s close relationship with Federal MP Michael Danby:
“Henry Pinskier is a senior figure in the right-wing Labor Unity faction, a former Danby staffer and sits on a number of state government boards. His wife, Victorian Multicultural Commissioner Marcia Pinskier, was on a short-list drawn up by the ALP to replace Evan Thornley in the upper house seat of Southern Metropolitan, which takes in Danby’s electorate.”
“In Danby’s maiden speech to parliament, he thanked Henry Pinskier as one of his “three musketeers”. Rebecca Pinskier has worked as a Danby staffer at the member’s St Kilda office.” (Click here to read more)
I wrote about Michael Danby a few weeks ago. (Click here to read more) He is Bill Shorten’s Parliamentary Secretary.
So for Henry Pinskier to say “I seek the nomination of ALP President without any endorsement of the factions” is a joke. Mr Pinskier fails to tell the ALP members voting that he worked for Mr Danby, his daughter Rebecca also worked for Mr Danby and his other daughter Abby has been given a job at the HSU. Mr Pinskier says he won’t be running for public office but fails to tell the voters whether his wife will or not and that she previously was short listed for an ALP seat which is clearly relevant.
Hopefully Henry Pinskier will not win the election for either the President role or either of the Vice-President roles. But it looks like he has the voters stacked in his favour so to speak.
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