EPMU helping Labour

From Labour’s Wellington Central candidate’s (Grant Robertson) latest newsletter:

Hoarding sites
Do you have a house, fence or garage that is visible and gets plenty of people or traffic passing by? Please consider putting up one of my signs. There are various sizes available. – contact Ross: ross.xxxxxxx@epmu.org.nz.

Ross is employed in the Wellington Office of the EPMU. It is of course wrong for EPMU staff to take unpaid leave to be a candidate for ACT but fine to help run a Labour campaign from work.

The EPMU has 103 staff according to its website. Far too much attention is paid to just how much money they spend. Their real value in in allowing staff pretty much as much time as they want to help Labour’s campaign and candidates out during the campaign.

Let’s say the average staffer earns $48,000. If they spent around 160 hours each (that is around 12 hours a week over three months) helping Labour campaign, then the total value of that contribution is over $400,000. That is on top of the $120,000 they are planning to formally donate and/or spend.

Now that’s all legal. But a useful reminder of the role big union money and resources can play in an election.

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