The EPMU has done a release saying:
The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU), which is the union that represents miners, is calling on the government to provide support for its legal representation in the Pike River Royal Commission of Inquiry.
The call follows the government’s announcement it will now fund families’ and contractors’ legal representation costs to allow them to participate in the inquiry.
The EPMU has around $13 million of assets and a turnover of around $12 million a year. They are in a totally different situation to individual famuilies and contractors. A legal bill of say $100,000 is a mere 1% of the EPMU’s annual turnover, yet would bankrupt many contractors and be well beyond what a West Coast family could afford.
Incidentially the EPMU has skilled in house lawyers such as their national secretary. If he wasn’t so busy running the Labour Party and running for Parliament, perhaps he could represent the EPMU at the Royal Commission hearings as part of his job.
It is of course up to the EPMU how they decide to interact with the Royal Commission, but if they start to ask for taxpayer funding, them we get the right to have a view on that.