Friday, March 21, 2008

King Shilling Back to Cleaning Cocoa Cola Machines

King Shilling Back to Cleaning Cocoa Cola Machines

--- In, "mamubhi" wrote:

Tony O'Donnell (King Shilling) is the Michael Jools (Cult Leader) of 1990s. Now he is a whistle blower! I hope Prime Minister Kevin Rudd would be brave and honest enough to open a public inquiry with widest possible terms of references including " … the role of elected Transport Workers Union officials, employees, lawyers in selling out taxi drivers in exchange of slash funds, direct or indirect bribes, kick backs etc. etc.".

Faruque Ahmed
Media Manager
Mobile: 041 091 4118, Email: union_faruque@...

Union's secret 'slush fund' to help ALP
March 16, 2008 06:00am
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ONE of Australia's most powerful trade unions has been accused of extorting money from transport companies and double-crossing its own members.The Transport Workers Union (TWU) is accused of extracting funds from companies and funnelling them into a slush fund, which was in turn used to help elect NSW Labor MPs. The allegations, to be revealed on today's Sunday program, are likely to put the future of TWU federal secretary and Labor powerbroker Tony Sheldon in doubt and trigger calls for a police investigation.

The Sunday Telegraph was shown a preview of the story. The TWU represents around 85,000 members who work in aviation, oil, waste management, gas, road transport, passenger vehicles and freight logistics. Past and serving union members have raised serious questions about the operation of the union, claiming its prime objective was to help the Labor Party. Among the damning allegations levelled at the TWU is the claim union officials were told to harass transport firms to contribute to the slush fund, which is really called the Transport Industry Training, Education and Industrial Rights Council. It is described by the union as a body set up to "help protect workers against unscrupulous employers'', but a number of union whistleblowers have alleged the council is a front for a slush fund used to help ALP candidates and increase the power of union officals.

A report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, released this month, has confirmed that the council never meets. The report was commissioned by the union following an earlier report by the Sunday program, which raised questions on the function of the fund. The program revealed transport and labor hire companies had paid almost $2 million into the fund in the years leading up to 2005.

Union whistleblower Tony O'Donnell alleges union officials were ordered to perform time-consuming company inspections for alleged breaches of workplace safety laws until they agreed to pay into the fund. "If they didn't allow you entry, you'd have them over a breach of the law,'' Mr O'Donnell said. "A legitimate inspection can bring a small business to a grinding halt, a medium business pretty close to it ... I could ask for records over the last five years. "We were told of the companies the union wanted to target. We just did what we were told.'' Mr O'Donnell alleged the inspections stopped once the company co-operated with the union. Among the companies named by Mr O'Donnell was Allied Transport - a major courier company - which he claimed should have warranted the attention of the union for alleged underpayments. Companies that co-operated with the union were allegedly rewarded with contracts that included significantly discounted pay and entitlements for workers.

In many cases, Mr O'Donnell said union officials negotiating on behalf of workers for better pay and conditions were often not aware of secondary deals having been done between the company and union in relation to contributions to the fund. When the key allegations were yesterday put to the union by The Sunday Telegraph, a TWU spokesman would only address the inspections, claiming they were necessary to ensure the safe operations of trucking companies. He claimed the whistleblowers were trying to start a rival union.

Sydney Taxi Corruption

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