26 July 2019

The Government’s so-called Ensuring Integrity Bill is back on parliament’s agenda, with its sponsors still pushing the lie that it will bring regulation of unions into line with regulation of corporations. Christian Porter made this bizarre claim [$] about giving bosses the power to seek the disqualification of union officials: “That’s one potentiality but it’s no different from the rules that allow shareholders of organisations to (take) certain actions against the corporation they are a shareholder of.” Here’s a key difference — bosses are not members of unions! They should have no power to meddle in the internal affairs of unions. A scathing report by the International Centre for Trade Union Rights observed this would allow bosses to have union leaders disqualified for even “minor or technical failures such as late lodgement of a union’s financial reports with the regulator”. If equal laws were applied to corporations, unions could have CEOs removed for late lodgements of paperwork — which would certainly be fun, but is (rightly) not an option. The bill is designed to tie unions up in so much red tape that they can’t properly represent their members.