April 10, 2012
Whilst I've been away on a photographic trip in Tasmania I've noticed that the the rage against the Gillard Government continues, and that the appearance of corruption by the Health Services Union (HSU) officials has deepened.
It does look as if the Craig Thomson saga bedevilling the Gillard government will drag on for months. Fair Work Australia (FWA) has referred its investigation into potential fraud and corruption in the HSU to the Commonwealth DPP, The union boss, Michael Williamson, and the former general secretary Craig Thomson, now a federal Labor MP, are alleged to have received kickbacks from a union supplier by way of American Express cards.
The corporate governance of the HUS leaves a lot to be desired. The union movement needs to to some housecleaning to remove some of the stench of corruption and clean up the corruption in the HSU.
The HSU crisis is playing havoc with the union movement as well as and creating headaches for the Gillard government. The decision last week by the ACTU to suspend the HSU from the council of trade unions until they can prove that issues of governance have been dealt with appropriately.
This is not enough. The union movement does appear to be pretty slack about auditing the union bosses use of credit cards and kickbacks.
Even though de-industrialisation and the decline of union power have devastated the working class, destroying jobs and communities, the ALP cannot afford to ignore, or walk away from, that it is dominated by unions; especially by blue collar unions and the conservative catholic led Shop, Distributive and Allied union (SDA). Slick media management to cover this up isn't enough.