The Sydney Morning Herald has four questions for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten:
QUESTION: Were Winslow workers in 2005 (when the company paid for their dues) aware that they were AWU members?
QUESTION: What did Winslow get in return for paying the AWU?
QUESTION: Was it common practice for the AWU to have companies pay for the membership dues of workers when Mr Shorten was state secretary?
QUESTION: Is it appropriate for companies to pay the union dues of members?
1/ Can you guarantee that under your leadership of the AWU, the union did not take a cheque from an employer for union dues without signed application forms from workers, as you told the Cole Royal Commission in 2002, and that the workers knew they were being signed up and were happy for the employer to pay their dues?
2/ Can you guarantee that no worker was worse off as a result of your leadership of the AWU given:
(a) Former Cleanevent HR manager Michael Robinson has given sworn evidence the 2006 enterprise bargaining agreement was “extremely favourable to Cleanevent” (allowing its workers to be paid $18 an hour in some circumstances compared with $45 for competitors);
(b) Cesar Melhem has agreed this was a poor deal for workers; and
(c) the AWU’s admission to the Fair Work Commission yesterday that it was in workers’ interests for the 2006 EBA to be terminated?
3/ You signed off on the 2004 Cleanevent EBA which formed the basis of the 2006 EBA and in turn the controversial 2010 EBA. At the time of the 2004 EBA or at any time of your AWU tenure did Cleanevent make payments to the AWU for any purpose , including that of paying union fees for employees?
4/ Do you agree with current AWU secretary Ben Davis that deals where employers pay for union memberships weaken the union’s industrial position?
5/ Do you regret signing Cesar Melhem’s pre-selection form?
6/ Under your leadership were you aware of any instances of different
names or entries on invoices being given to payments by companies for AWU
memberships , for example cases where membership fees were labelled
7/ Under your leadership were you aware of any instances of the practice whereby the AWU signed up members without their knowledge?
8/ Did the netballers who became AWU members as a result of the alliance with the
Australian Netball Players Association know they were being signed up and did
they pay individually or did the ANPA pay their dues?
9/ When the AWU first negotiated an arrangement with the Australian Jockeys Association when you were secretary, did any money change hands and, if so, what for?
10/ Did jockeys including Peter Mertens, Greg Childs, Steven King, Kerrin McEvoy agree to becoming AWU members or know they had been signed up?