Mr Shorten, Please Explain…..

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?

and The Australian ten more:

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
“training” fees?

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?

How the :labour market can help South Australia Forum

The HR Nicholls Society held, on the 22nd of October, a lunchtime forum on how strengthening the South Australian economy through the labour market, other deregulatory measures and finding the right place in the supply chain in open markets. Special guest speakers were Malcolm Bosworth and Professor Christopher Findlay. This was covered in the Adelaide Advertiser:

HR Nicholls Society president Adam Bisits has called on the State Government to make application to the Fair Work Commission and call for a special lower minimum wage in SA. The free-market group advocates labour deregulation and held a forum in Adelaide yesterday. In June, Australia’s lowest paid workers were awarded a 3 per cent rise to take the minimum weekly wage to $640.90 a week, or $16.87 an hour.

click HERE to read the rest of the Advertiser Story. You can download Malcolm Bosworth’s speaking notes HERE, and his powerpoint HERE.

2013 Annual Dinner with Leigh Clifford AO, Chairman of Qantas

The HR Nicholls Society warmly invites  members and supporters to the 2013 Annual Dinner of the HR Nicholls Society, with special guest Leigh Clifford AO, Chairman of QANTAS.

Mr Clifford is one of the most prominent and influential business leaders in Australia.  As Chairman of Qantas and previously CEO of Rio Tinto, he has transformed the Australian business landscape.

Robert Gottliebsen, the Founding Editor of Business Review Weekly, has argued that “Leigh Clifford, more than any other person in Australia, changed the culture of the workplace in the mining industry and made Australia one of the most productive mining areas in the world.” Read more

Opposition on Right Track with Increased Penalties

The HR Nicholls Society supports the move by the federal opposition to reform the Registered Organisations Act to bring its penalities into line with the Corporations Act 2001.

 The reform would increase penalties to $340,000 to provide for criminal as well as civil sanctions including imprisonment of up to five years.

 The government in response to the HSU scandal derisorily increased the penalties on individuals to $6,600 and on organisations to $33,000 and they are under the Government’s increases still simply civil penalties.

 This was a manifestly inappropriate response to the HSU scandal.

 The HR Nicholls Society recommends that the government support the reform in an effort to stamp out corruption.

Further information: Ian Hanke 0407 841 957