Do unions put members or Labour first?

I’ve actually recruited people to join a union in the past, and believe some unions do a good job of advocating for their members. There are some bad employers out there, and sometimes a collective approach is desirable in dealing with them.

But a real issue I have with many unions, is that they are literally part of the Labour Party, and put the interests of the political party ahead of the interest of their own members. A situation in Australia is a prefect example of this.

A federal Labor MP, Craig Thomson, is under huge scrutiny as when he was the head of the Health Services Union he spent around $150,000 on his union credit card including several prostitutes. He sued Fairfax a couple of years ago who reported this, but has now dropped the lawsuit, but Fairfax has all the documents under discovery.

There is no doubt he stole money off the union, and used their funds for his personal expenses. He denies he hired prostitutes and say someone else signed the chits.However the escort agencies were also rung from his cellphone and handwriting experts say the signatures are his.

There’s a more detailed post on this from someone in Australia tomorrow, but I want to focus today on the issue of why has he not been charged? Well simply because the Police say they can’t investigate unless the union complains.

So why has the union not complained? Wouldn’t any other organisation that had someone do this, complain?

The answer is because he is a Federal Labor MP, and if they complained, then he might be found guilty and might have to resign his seat which would cause a by-election. And if Labor lost the by-election, they may lose Government.

So to protect their mates in Labor, the union won’t complain to the Police. Never mind the fact $150,000 of their members fees were spent by this Labor MP. They put protecting Labor above their own members interests.

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