Normally you have to delve pretty deep into a report to find the gritty stuff, whether it’s a Federal Budget or a report by a well known QC into years of shonky business dealings by the boss of a major union.

With all that cash, you'd think he could afford a better necklace than that green thing. Pic: Dan Himbrechts

In the case of the Temby Report into the Health Service Union’s East branch, you need only to read as far as page three. There you will find some recommendations which would be laughable if they weren’t so serious.

In point 8 (i), Mt Temby suggests in his most restrained legalese, that it might be useful for the union to obtain at least two prices before it procures any goods or services. Mr Temby goes on to state that it’d be a good idea to place orders in writing and retain order forms!

It’s hard to believe that these simple, commonplace measures straight out of Accountability 101 are not part of HSU procurement procedure. If they were, it’s extremely unlikely that Julie Williamson, wife of HSU East boss Michael Williamson, would have received $384,000 for clerical work which turned to be of little use to anyone.

The lists of lavish expense claims and nepotism surrounding Michael Williamson is so long, they make Craig Thomson and friends seem quite the amateurs.

They are also precisely the sort of news the union movement doesn’t need at a time when its membership of 2 million or less than a fifth of the Australian workforce, is at an historic low.

Mr Williamson was on a salary of almost $400,000. Not only is that more than any politician bar the Prime Minister, it is way in excess of what most union officials earn.

Paul Howes, the high profile secretary of the Australian Workers Union, is said to earn a salary in the low to mid 100k range. Most top officials in the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union earn five figure salaries.

And let’s not forget people like the hospital orderlies who fall under the banner of the HSU, most of whom would earn less than $50k.

The vast majority of union officials are almost certainly not rorters and cheats. That said, they can all learn something from this HSU mess, and that lesson is to rush their business practises headlong into the 21st century.

Unions, by their very nature, are the sorts of organisations which do things on handshakes and trust. Some have transparent, modern policies across practices like procurement, tenders and more. Others, like HSU, clearly don’t. They all should.

And Michael Williamson should go and clean some hospital dunnies for the next decade or so.

Most commented


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    • Bill says:

      01:13pm | 24/07/12

      It’s no wonder that 82% of the workforce refuse to join a trade union.

    • tez says:

      01:37pm | 24/07/12

      Don’t suspect the general trade union member had any idea of this

    • Alfie says:

      02:28pm | 24/07/12

      Agree. Only a complete mug would hand over fees to a bunch of crooked goons.

    • Joan says:

      02:31pm | 24/07/12

      After current revelations of misappropriation of members funds I think Gillard should demand a special audit of all Union funds to be presented to a committee for review as well as each unions guidelines with respect to tender process, employment selection etc. and guidelines for use of credit cards etc. Who knows what is happening in othe uinons and looks like a thorough investigation needed. Does anyone know the sum total of all unions funds?

    • andye says:

      02:41pm | 24/07/12

      lol, “refuse”.

      you have to be offered something to refuse it. you might as well say 100% of workers refuse to be transported to venus on a flying unicorn.

    • dovif says:

      03:35pm | 24/07/12

      And these people controls who our Prime Minister is and Julia takes every opportunity to please them, and drafted laws (Fair work Act) which refuses to persecute union leaders like Thomson and Williamson

      These Union leaders are unfit to run Australia

    • Mattb says:

      03:44pm | 24/07/12

      Alfie says: 02:28pm | 24/07/12
      “Agree. Only a complete mug would hand over fees to a bunch of crooked goons.”

      Back when i was on the tools, the difference between working on a union construction side compared with a non-union (I worked on both) was about $400 more in the paypacket per week. So for my union fees of $600 a year, which were completely tax deductable and came with benefits such as discount cards, insurances etc. I’d earn around an extra $20,000 p/y more than I would on non union sites with no bargaining agreement, just award rates. I think i wouldve been a mug not to hand over the fees, join the union and benefit from the enterprise bargaining agreement.

      $600 tax deductable investment with a guaranteed $20,000 return. Would you say no to that Alfie?

      as for what happened to the money i paid, who knows, who cares, ive never lost any sleep over it. It went to the BLF, haha, probably paid for stripers and prostitutes!!...

    • Mattb says:

      03:56pm | 24/07/12

      tez says: 01:37pm | 24/07/12
      “Don’t suspect the general trade union member had any idea of this”

      dont assume the general trade union member gives a shit. its funny, they’re always out there rallying, havent seen them constantly rally against whats happened in the HSU.

      I always find it amusing when people, usually liberal conservatives, go on about how bad trade unions are. Its like there saying “leave the union and come and join us, and you’ll be able to get paid half the wage your on now because we care about you!!”. And they somehow think this sounds like an attractive proposition…

    • Sickemrex says:

      05:36pm | 24/07/12

      @ andye, that wouldn’t be possible as I have the only unicorn in existence.

      @ Alfie, colour me mug but when working in an industry where members are often subject to false complaints requiring Court defence, I’ll hand over the cash. Oops, sounds like a protection racket! Ours does an ok job around EB time, too.

    • Punters Pal says:

      10:13am | 25/07/12

      Mattb, reading at your posts it is no surprise for me or anyone that hundreds of building companies have gone bust. No doubt St Hilliers, Kell & Rigby and others were ruled by CFMU goons, companies were forced to pay $20,000 per worker over market rate and now those companies are all bust. Reading at your post, I know you don’t give a shit. Be proud!

    • Old Cobber says:

      07:13pm | 25/07/12

      @joan, Fair Dinkum, you must live in LaaLaand, or, an ALPstooge !.Gillard will ignore this scandal because she is in it up to her Socialist neck—-Why does she cover Thompson? How does Slipper exist? When will the Wilson/Gillard rort be exposed? What else should be revealed as these Union thugs,masquarerading as worker heros,come under rightful scrutiney?  Wake up!!  Contact an ALP MP today and ask them to answer these simple,basic queries.

    • Pro-litariat says:

      10:26pm | 25/07/12

      I was horrified as I watched Bill Shorten’s announcement to call in an administratort. The reason being was his rationale of un-admIinistrable Union in chaos as the entire basis. Yes it was, but why?
      For most members chaos was positive - a harbinger of change - why? Because of disenfranchisement, corruption, despotism, patronage, nepotism, exquisitely Machiavellian control and nil transparency Those were the issues of concern to the membership, never articulated by Bill who historically reaps the benefit of HSU support on the Caucus floor and has taken the opportunity to select the administrator to set the agenda for the election. Noneof this was articulated by Bil - he made it out to be a factional fight.

      I have been a member for 12 years and have never been offered, to my knowledge, a vote in an election. I have since found out they were published as an obscure ad (and not in the glossy and corruptedly? overpaid newsletter sent to each member) and the rules were constrained to limit a contest. I only recently found out members of the HSU Caucus - the allegedly elected governing body - included paid organizers who were umbillically wedded to Michael, the Godfather, and who were elected on the same ticket. How’s that!

      When the HSU Annual Convention was was held last year, muscle was flexed to condemn Cathy Jacson (I am no devotee of her, as such, but eminenly grateful for the revelations)  for whistle blowing - when the overweening majority of mambers was glad to, at last, to know some truth. Such was the power of the apparatus.

      I have been so angry and disgusted that I can no longer put on my old HSU Tshirts from the old ‘Your rights at work’ campaign’, even in the back yard, and now cosign them to wiping the bike chain.

      However, I do not subscribe to the view that Unions are finished, despite this ugly, ugly example and my own angst and anger. To the people who suggest this - look at the numerous intstances of business corruption at the highest levels, including the antecedents of the GFC (replete with corruption, deceit, arcane fiscal manouvers and obscene reward$ for unpunished participants, for which Jo Blow is made to pay, especially in Europe/USA. You would not advocate the end of business on that basis? Unions have been an important ingredient in the construction of Oz as a reasonably fair society, it would be tragic to abandon this countervailing force. The Williamson interlude is supremely ugly but not defining of Unions generally. And should
      we just let the market$ rule, unfettered? God help us - I’m an atheist.

      I fully agree with better regulation of Unions accountability as well as that of business - both are too lax.

      Finally, I hope that the real issues of democratic HSU elections are enabled by the administrator. That remains to be seen. Without that fundamental change there is little hope for the thoroughly abused members in the short term, at least.
      It ain’t over yet.

    • M says:

      01:19pm | 24/07/12

      The CFMEU is still stuck in the 70’s/

    • Mattb says:

      05:12pm | 24/07/12

      so is the Labor party, so is the manufacturing and retail industries in Australia (its part of the reason they are struggling, failure to adapt and move with modern technology). Shit, the conservative liberals are still stuck in the 50’s!...

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      06:12pm | 24/07/12


      Actually Australian manufacturing is one of the best in terms of automation.

      Sorry was (post Carbon tax)

    • stephen says:

      01:22pm | 24/07/12

      I work for an “evil” multi national.  I cannot spend $20 on the corporate card without invoking a chains of intricate and exhavstive internal checks to ensure the expense is legitimate.
      Thats so our clients money is protected.

      So much for looking after your clients money and interests

    • Mahhrat says:

      01:24pm | 24/07/12

      It is laughable, because the importance of a union (that is, an organisation of workers to support workers) is absolutely critical in industries where high levels of technical expertise are not required of all staff.

      It’s almost like they got so big that they became that which they (purportedly) most despised.

    • Emmy says:

      01:38pm | 24/07/12

      It doesn’t make Thomson any less accountable for his actions. It just says he learn’t his trade off a PRO.

    • The Galah from Hervey Bay says:

      06:45pm | 24/07/12

      Emmy…right on !  Sums the whole rotten mess up in a nutshell.
      If this were you or i , we would have been behind bars long ago.
      Politics aside….there is to be an accounting for at least one disappearance of low income H.S.U. unionists funds.
      We all know who knocked off this particular batch….time to put him through the court system….it will be some small satisfaction for the members.

    • Borderer says:

      01:41pm | 24/07/12

      Yeah, Ant, records are a problem, they mean you may be accountable and the lack of them really does make proof in a criminal case difficult, a real shame that Thomson never learned from this pro.
      You can of course fire him but if he’s been raping the members funds to the extent the report claims, you can bet he’s been setting up a parachute to help him retire as well.
      Cynical unionism like this does not represent the workers and until they change their ways their membership and relevance will continue to slide.

    • AdamC says:

      02:48pm | 24/07/12

      I would think this report vindicates Kathy Jackson. After all, it is essentially through her whistleblowing that this whole scandal has come to light. Unionists and Labor pollies are all tut-tutting the HSU excesses now, but they didn’t do anything about them until Jacskon basically forced them to by airing all the dirty laundry.

      Also, that article reads like something from Farrago or Lot’s Wife. There seems to be no basis for the claims being made.

    • Louie the Fly says:

      01:50pm | 24/07/12

      Maybe he could shine the members’ shoes as well as clean the loos.

    • The Machiavellian says:

      02:02pm | 24/07/12

      “The vast majority of union officials are almost certainly not rorters and cheats. ” Prove it!
      All officials are now suspects.
      All union accounts must be audited.
      All rorters must have proceeds of crime laws applied.!
      Members must be more active against theft.

    • rebes says:

      08:50pm | 24/07/12

      Using your theory, all Australian News Ltd journos are as morally corrupt as their UK counterparts.  If I remember correctly, a certain PM got lambasted for suggesting that very idea.

    • Tom says:

      01:04pm | 26/07/12

      rebes, I assume you meant to say all Australian journos.

      * Failure to report fully on the Heinner affair? Massive fail? No, massive immorality.

      * Failure to question why Kathy Jackson the whistleblower has been hounded out. Massive fail? No, massive immorality.

      * Failure to question why Caroline Byrne was murdered. Massive fail? No, massive immorality.

      * Failure to question why Gillian Sneddon was victimised after blowing the whistle. Massive fail? No, massive immorality.

    • SM says:

      02:11pm | 24/07/12

      will this guy go to jail?

    • Craig says:

      04:48am | 25/07/12

      Not likely, nor will he have to repay any of the money.

      It is more likely that we’ll see him become an ambassador and Gillard will put him safely out of mind overseas in a cushy well paid job.

      After all the guy have proven he can hustle - just what Australia want in its ambassadors.

    • Damocles says:

      08:42am | 25/07/12

      Bob Dylan got it right…........“Steal a little and they throw you in gaol, steal a lot and they make you king!”

    • dweezy2176 says:

      02:11pm | 24/07/12

      Surely the sight of Bill Shorten keeping a straight face during his, “let’s not assume all unions are bad because of one bad apple”, statement on TV was top draw Labor spin. Right up there with, “There will be no Carbon Tax under a Government I lead”, or Paul Howes, “If one job is lost because of the Carbon Tax”, rubbish.
      Still, let us give the unions the benefit of the doubt, they can’t all corrupt just the majority .......... Back to you Bill#

    • nihonin says:

      03:52pm | 24/07/12

      dweezy2176, let’s not forget the famous “I don’t what she said, but I agree with it” interview.

    • Steve says:

      04:35pm | 24/07/12

      The CMFEU and the MUA make the HSU look like the Salvos.
      the whole system is rotten and the Labor party knows exactly what is going on because 80% of them are ex union leaders.

    • Max Power says:

      02:13pm | 24/07/12

      Well, one incident surely must point to a systematic problem within the Union movement.
      The best way forward would be for the government to make some quick knee jerk reactions and false claims. Follow them up with a media campaign sullying the reputation of the members of the Union movement.
      Once that has been done, the government should announce no less than six different inquiries, with the members cherry picked to ensure the findings are in line with what the government wants.
      To make sure there is enough cases to continue the attack on the Union movement, they should make sure the inquiries date back as far as the 1950’s.
      Once the inquiries have wrapped up and have gathered enough evidence, the reports should be released piece meal, mainly as a distraction to take heat off the government.
      When things are going really bad for the government, they should release the whole report. Then, there should be calls for a Royal Commission into the entire union movement.

    • pa_kelvin says:

      03:35pm | 24/07/12

      @Max….an inquiry like that would go on for 15-20 years if the CT inquiry is anything to go by.

    • Craig says:

      05:08am | 25/07/12

      If Gillard doesn’t launch a Royal Commission with her own terms of reference (to limit the damage to her Union friends) this year, when the Coalition wins power next year they will launch a far more far reaching one. So the best way for Gillard to help her mates is to get one going with limited reference terms.

    • ian says:

      02:16pm | 24/07/12

      do this in a Company and they through you in goal.  But seams that in a Union its OK to Steal from the members, 20 Million, in rorts, and the Unions now want to charge members $4 each to support Labour so this sort of thing can keep going, and B****Y Gillard says this sort of thing is not everywhere,  Well what about her Boy friend from before?? He did the Union of what 500k,

    • John of St Leonards says:

      02:28pm | 24/07/12

      The major question seems to be whether any laws were broken by the practices reported by Mr Temby.  The actions are horrendous, but ,maybe the rules that apply to unions are so lax and out of touch with modern society that the practice was acceptable.

      The constant spin that HSU is a very isolated case is just spin.  It appears that no one really knows how widespread it is.  The silence of the lambs in the union hierarchy suggests the might know a whole lot more than they are telling us.  Similar events have occurred in the AWU and the recently deposed federal Attorney General seemed to have once thought a Royal Commission was the only way we could find out for sure.

    • running with scissors says:

      02:28pm | 24/07/12

      This makes my blood boil. Yes I support the union movement and am a member of my industry union and all it’s supposed to represent (fighting for the underdog and all that). But I’m not prepared to pay my money to fat turds like this jabba the hut of union bosses, sipping the cream of everyone else’s hard work. It’s clear he only has his own interests at heart and the investigation into HSU has shown that a putrid culture- sleazy and rotten to the core is to blame. Let a court decide through prosecution and any monies obtained by abuse of power should be seized through sale of assets with all proceeds back to union members.

    • Timshu says:

      03:40am | 25/07/12

      Wake up and smell the coffee, unions are corrupt and will never change.  Join the 80percent(and climbing) who say no.

    • running with scissors says:

      09:30am | 25/07/12

      Timshu I love coffee and would happily smell it all day- I’ve even considered being a barista in my spare time to help with the mortgage. Anyways I digress. I respect your position and how you’ve come to it and I’m sure you have your own story, however, in my case I always thought that I could fight for myself, and that being a good worker, relatively gifted with the gab/pen, and knowing my own worth would count for something. I always assumed that management would value this and want to retain good employees (remember assume makes an ass out of u and me - what a gem eh!). I then found myself in a position where management couldn’t give a flying f#ck about me and what I believed in and could give a stuff whether I stayed or left. It truly was a shock to realise that when it came down to it I had no position or power to argue on my own- and whether you end up with good management or bad is purely luck of the draw. The power of Unions is in numbers and when your chips are down they are the only ones who are going to argue for you - either that or hire a lawyer and let’s face it -who wants that choice. For better or for worse I still back them more to look after my interests than someone trying to make money for a company or climb a career ladder. Having said that, clearly there needs to be a lot of change and accountability for money and process in Unions… As a side note I’ve also seen some seriously fu#ked up people abuse the Union process so other decent workers are forced to work with lazy, useless people, but on balance (like the justice system) having a Union is still important to protect the rights of those who really need help. I’ve found this even more so in blue collar jobs where you tend to be just a number.
      Anyways just thought I’d have a bit more of a rant.

    • M. Mouse says:

      02:35pm | 24/07/12

      Who on earth needs unions these days? They have served their purpose, now it’s time for them and the Labor party to be consigned to the history books and thie officials to get a real job and work for a living like the rest of us.

    • Daz says:

      02:46pm | 24/07/12

      Do union officials still get paid by the union when their members are on strike and not being paid by their employer? I was told years ago this is the case and consequently lost a certain amount of respect for the integrity of union officials. Someone else may have more accurate and up to date information?

    • Mattb says:

      05:53pm | 24/07/12

      I dont know about other unions but on building sites under CFMEU and BLF
      the union representative on site was paid penalty rates when everyone went out on strike. The justification for this was that he had to stay back and cop the wrath of the builder while everyone else was either surfing or at the pub. well, thats the excuse i was given anyway, its not like you hang around to ask these questions when you’ve been told you can go home!

      Still in the 8 years I was in the working on union sites I only lost three days to strike action, one day cause the power went out on site and the excuse was the crib shed fridge was off (food poisoning safety threat!). The other two days because someone was killed on site and the union refused to let anyone back on site until it was declared safe again.

    • Tim says:

      03:01pm | 24/07/12

      Where’s Maggie Thatcher when you need her? These bent union bosses will be familiar to anyone who lived in the UK during the 70’s and early 80’s. Maybe that’s why we can’t give blood?

    • Lie Lover? says:

      11:51am | 25/07/12

      Maggie Thatcher was one of the worst criminals ever to hold power in a democracy. There are many unions covering pretty much all industries, with only a tiny fraction could be considered bent. Unfortunately your statement appears to be based on ignorance.

    • pa_kelvin says:

      03:02pm | 24/07/12

      Any-one been able to find a link to the full report???

    • sandra says:

      05:17pm | 24/07/12

      visit akermans blog—scary stuff indeed on there—truthful and detailed—you would never pay another union fee or vote labor again when you read the truth—it goes all the way to the top of labor!!!!

    • pa_kelvin says:

      05:59pm | 24/07/12

      akermans blog ? I’m new to this. :(

    • Rose says:

      06:26pm | 24/07/12

      akerman’s blog, truthful and detailed all in the one sentence… have got to be kidding???

    • year of the dragon says:

      07:19pm | 24/07/12

      Rose says: 06:26pm | 24/07/12

      “akerman’s blog, truthful and detailed all in the one sentence… have got to be kidding???”

      I don’t read akerman’s blog but would be interested to see if you can back this statement up with an example.

    • Tom says:

      03:03pm | 25/07/12

      Rose, most of Akerman’s material is straight from Temby’s findings.

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      03:04pm | 24/07/12

      Bill Shorten has said on National TV that we should not judge all his Unions as we do the HSU-East.
      He says “They do a good job for their 2,000,000 members”
      Really, Bill? Do you really believe that?
      Let’s have a look at those Union Members & their relationship with those Unions.
      Also, let’s compare voting trends over the last decades, generations.
      At best the ALP has managed to garner just over 50% of the vote in any election in Australia. Be those Elections Federal, State or Territory. That 50% + is based on Two Party Preferred results. The ALP, just like the Libs, Nats etc. , have seldom, if ever, gotten even close to winning 50% of the Primary Vote.
      During the last two years under the disastrous leadership of Julia Gillard, the ALP’s Primary Vote has sat anywhere between, at best, 31% & (currently) at worst on 27%. They get in the mid 30%s on the Two Party Preferred Vote.
      Without the written permission of their Members, Bill Shorten’s Wonderful, Honest Unions donate large sums of Member’s dues to the ALP.
      On average, at least 50% of all Union members at any time do not support the ALP at the Ballot Box. Currently the figure would be far greater.
      Why, Bill, do your Unions presume to think they have the right to take Union Member’s Money & give it to a political party which at least half of the Members do not, nor ever would, support.
      If someone takes money from another person & gives it to a 3rd Party without that person’s express permission (unless by Court Order) what is that?
      In my book that is nothing more, nor less, than outright THEFT, STEALING - call it what you will - it is & always will be Dishonest & Criminal

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      06:33pm | 24/07/12

      Not Bill “I support what Julia said, No, I do not know what she said, but I support it anyway” Shorten?

      Not Bill “Viewless” Shorten?

    • timschu says:

      03:48am | 25/07/12

      Thanks Babylon, That video is already a classic and a ready made election ad for the Libs should the buffoon ever climb high enough.

    • Brad James says:

      03:11pm | 24/07/12

      The ALP held Williamson in such high regard that they made him their president. A good old boy that knows all to well how the ALP works. Our PM was involved with another union crook,yep,nothing to see here.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      03:18pm | 24/07/12

      Excessive salaries by Corporate management = good. Excessive salaries by union officials = bad. At least unions have elections. A shareholder resolution condemning excessive management remuneration isn’t worth the paper it is written on…...

    • Craig says:

      05:04am | 25/07/12

      Excessive salaries for both are bad. However excessive means a different thing when competing in the open market for the best candidate & having them responsible for profitability vs having you supposed first priority as sticking up for victims’ rights.

      Williamson wasn’t selected from the deep end of the gene pool, not are most Union officials. Unions don’t do international searches for talent or even national searches - they appoint from a small pool of Labor cronies.

      Sure they look elected, but try to get on a ballot without the support of the machine and friends in the right places and see how you go.

      It is a massive scam where officials are either the concerned hard working types who believe in what they are doing or the morally corrupt type who play the system and support the machine to get ahead. And the second type get to the senior roles while the first type stay in the workplace where they can do most good.

    • TheRealDave says:

      03:30pm | 24/07/12

      And STILL, not a single peep from News Limited or The Punch, about the massive frauds of Kathy Jackson who has perpetuated EXACTLY THE SAME scams, double/triple dipping and frauds as Williamson and who’s frauds we still don’t know the full extent of because the main stream media clamps its lips shut and sticks it fingers in their ears with every new piece of evidence against her.

      I notice she gets mentioned as the ‘whistleblower’ AGAIN in the News Limited pieces…...

      Why Ant? You published this piece today based on the coverage from other News limited pieces on reports released today…..yet after MONTHS of leaked FACTUAL documents coming out about Kathy Jackson you and your stablemates have ignored it.


      Because the bloke who had the material sent to him - unsolicited I might add, once ran for Labor??  Despite the fact he has been 100% transparent the whole time and never hid or lied about his past or beliefs?? Or because he’s not a ‘journo’ and only a ‘Blogger’ or some other tripe? Another source has been a pro-Union news site with evidence sent by highly disgruntled members who are sick of the lot of them stealing their money.

      You’ve had a go - rightly I might add, at Williamson, the Punch and News Limited has a go at Thomson, rightly I also add - so why are you staying silent on Jackson??

    • AdamC says:

      03:48pm | 24/07/12

      I hear a bit of chatter about these supposed allegations about Kathy Jackson online from time-to-time. What are they based on? What are these leaked documents you mention? Who has published them?

    • Angry God of Townsville says:

      04:11pm | 24/07/12

      Your blogger is an ALP operative, the claims against Jackson are as yet unverified and even you must note that whilst Williamson and Thompson have received more money from the union defending the claims so clearly presented by Temby, Jackson has not. Your blogger is providing selections without accurate context and you know this. Do you enjoy being an ALP muppet because the claims are so clearly motivated to discredit a witness rather than protect the finances of the lowest paid workers in the hospital system. I hope you are not getting paid for your contributions on blogs like this.

    • KimL says:

      06:59am | 25/07/12

      I don’t think Jackson is clean either , she is just not as bad as Williamson. All of these people should never deal with other people money again. I feel badly for the members of that union, Jackson has run around giving interviews to the press, but its the members I want to hear from..they are the wronged party here.

    • Blind Freddy says:

      03:48pm | 24/07/12

      The Temby report is as weak as piss. It only takes ten minutes to read it and none of Jackson’s or Lawler’s acts of nepotism and rorting even get a mention.

      Did someone pay for this rubbish?

    • pa_kelvin says:

      04:56pm | 24/07/12

      Have you got a link Freddy?

    • Peter says:

      07:55pm | 24/07/12

      Ha ha.. The Tenby report is the actual i unions own report!! If there was good stuff about kathy or lawler.. I’m sure they wold have loved to include it..

      Your fav blogger is in bed with craigie!!! It’s not turning out so good or him w, only the other day he was kathy this, kathy tat, but funny enough couldn’t find hardly a thing on Williamson and of course nothing of Craig… Who I’m sure he would have declared a saint if possible… It’s getting pathetic!

    • Blind Freddy says:

      12:05pm | 25/07/12


      This is a link to Part 16 of the Jackson Affair - it is well worth going back to Part 1 and working forward. It is a very tangled web she weaves.

      And, contrary to the expected left-right rubbish posted by Peter - I am not a fan of Thomson or any other rorter of public and/or members’ money.

      Wicks has been leaked documents that Jackson herself has said are authentic.

    • Ren says:

      06:19pm | 24/07/12

      Work Choices doesn’t seem so bad after all:)

      Could have done with a tweak but I was happy with it.

    • year of the dragon says:

      07:12pm | 24/07/12

      “Unions, by their very nature, are the sorts of organisations which do things on handshakes and trust.”

      What? Why are formal agreements and checks and balances outside the “very nature” of trade unions?

    • year of the dragon says:

      07:22pm | 24/07/12

      Just a scratch on the surface. The links between the unions and industry super funds and the billions of dollars they manage on behalf of members also needs further investigation.

    • stephen says:

      08:28pm | 24/07/12

      I heard on the news that if he goes to Court, the maximum sentence he may incur might be a fine of $6,600.
      But someone is chasing an ex-wife of a famous sportsman for 2 instances of shoplifting.
      I saw a movie on Sunday and the Judge in the picture decided, because he was suspicious of jury tampering, swapping juries with the Courtroom next door before the case began.

      I’d like to see the charges swapped : she can keep 20 million, and he can keep the baby clothes but go to Court and get at least 3 months in the lockup.

    • rebes says:

      09:04pm | 24/07/12

      I heard the ex wife of the famous sportsman got let off - no charges laid. Apparently the ex wife’s lawyers rang the shop owner and she agreed to drop the charges. If that was you or I however…

      It seems everyone has a price.

    • stephen says:

      06:30pm | 25/07/12

      Possibly, laying charges against a wife who was recently separated and probably suffering depression, and whose ex-partner has been under intense media scrutiny, was a bit to severe even for a shopkeeper.

      My first comment was critical of HSU unionists who, if they were caught shoplifting, might get what the ex-wife may have got and not a pissweak fine.

    • daniel says:

      08:55pm | 24/07/12

      This might be getting into semantics but I thought it was the HSU ‘east branch’ that had problems not the HSU in general?

    • Swins says:

      09:32pm | 24/07/12

      All HSU members (and ALP) are equal, but some members are more equal than others.
      Who would have thought?

    • Roy says:

      09:48pm | 24/07/12

      The conservatives love to get their teeth into a story where a union person rips off a hundred thou or so.
      But here in Vic the Conservative Baillieu is wanting to build a rail line to a little used Avalon aiport owned by Lindsay Fox at a cost of $200+ Million, but can’t build one to the main airport Tullamarine or Doncaster or other suburbs not serviced by rail..
      But thats ok by the Libs

    • Craig says:

      09:53pm | 24/07/12

      So are we now expected to trust the word of other Union officials and the ACTU that the HSU was an isolated incident?

      That their accounts and conduct are all honourable and above board?

      I’d like to see all Unions commit to being transparent to their members, with the first step being to bring in auditors to access their accounts and processes.

      Union members (and yes I belong to one) deserve honesty from the people entrusted to look out for our interests.

      Right now all Union officials are suspect. For public confidence - and potentially for the survival of the Union movement - Unions need to be upfront about how and where they spend their money, how officials are remunerated and how their procure goods and services.

      If they won’t do that, I’ll be leaving my Union (not the HSU) and I expect many other people will too.

    • Dann.C says:

      08:32am | 25/07/12

      Don’t forget that ms Gillard was involved with setting up accounts for Williamson as a lawyer, or, as she stated ,she was naive and innocent at the time, hhmmmm., makes a person wonder about her credibility.

    • TimB says:

      01:10pm | 25/07/12

      As i understand it, she was in her 30’s at the time. But yeah, totally ‘young and naive’.

      I for one am not particularly thrilled at someone who was ‘young and naive’ well into their 30’s leading a country of 22 million+.

    • dibatag says:

      09:54am | 25/07/12

      Crooks can have there assets confiscated so why not this grubb and his disgusting family

    • Stephen says:

      10:16am | 25/07/12

      The perturbing aspect of this situation is that this corrupt, dishonest, self serving and deceitful clique was able to get one of their own into our Parliament as an MP.

      Not only has the union movement taken a hit, but so has our teetering democratic process.

      It wasn’t enough for these fraudsters to steal money from their employers, the membership. They sought to expand their crooked empire into the very heart of Government.

      How can a “movement” representing around 2 million workers, primarily to safeguard the interests in the workplace, wield so much power.

      Another reason for massive, game changing reform in our system of Government.

    • alan says:

      11:04am | 25/07/12

      100 years in jail and all property taken,,thats what i say for this rotten greedy man at the tiop of the HSU.
      PLUS ALL HIS MATES.greedy greedy EVIL bastards,the lot of them..

    • Anna C says:

      12:27pm | 25/07/12

      Is it any wonder unions are becoming increasingly irrelevant?

    • JB says:

      02:31pm | 25/07/12

      Unions, ALP What’s the difference?
      Not much if you ask me, they both cover for each other and are never held to account for their actions!!!!

    • Bill says:

      06:41pm | 25/07/12

      Sounds like a member of the new Queensland Government

    • Fabbz says:

      09:42pm | 26/07/12

      i can’t believe it, “Red Anthony” Sharwood is criticizing the unions. among the Latte Left its usually taboo to criticize their leftie union comrades?


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