The new royal commission into trade union corruption is likely to reveal that Australia’s union movement is in deep trouble.
The ABC understands that a key report will reveal that union leaders have been given access to confidential internal documents and other sensitive information in an attempt to prevent them from being publicly criticised and to stifle dissent.
The ABC has learned the royal commission will examine allegations of corruption, pay-offs and bribery within the Australian Workers Union (AWU).
It is understood the union has been provided with information relating to the internal workings of the union and how its leaders have used it to advance their own agendas.
As well as the report, the commission is also expected to examine the financial records of union branches and its operations.
Among the findings will be the use of a secretive, opaque company called ‘the secretariat’ by its members.
The secretariat is described as a secret, non-public organisation that has been used to help the union hide its true activities and its true financial position.
It is alleged that the secretariat has been set up in order to allow union members to keep the union’s true financial details hidden from the public.
The report has been leaked to Fairfax Media, which is preparing a story about the contents of the commission’s findings.
The union is also likely to face a raft of political challenges in the wake of the report.
Labor and the Greens have both warned that the commission will expose the union for its corruption and the alleged pay-off of union members.
Labor’s leader, Bill Shorten, has already called for the commission to be suspended.
He has accused Labor of trying to hide its findings from the electorate.
“The royal commission is a political party, it’s a royal commission of lies and corruption,” he said.
“I’ve got to say, I’m surprised the Labor Party’s got so little self-awareness.”
A Labor spokesman said it was important to keep Labor’s members informed about the commission and the findings of the royal commissioner.
The commission is expected to release a report in the next few weeks, but has not yet said how it will report its findings.
Topics:union,government-and-politics,government,government—business-economics-and ofgem,political-parties,business-group,union,law-crime-and,corruption,government/news,australiaFirst posted January 11, 2019 14:50:43Contact Paul ChiversTopics:government-disclosure,union-and_political-party,business/business-transparency,law,political,government–government,public-sector,business,corporate,union