Westpac hypocrisy exposes corrupt motives at the heart of EI Bill

Nicholas McCallum

MEDIA RELEASE: Monday 25 November, 2019

If it’s not the Government’s place to say who should run banks, then it’s not the Government’s place to say who should run trade unions.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and CFMEU Construction & General today said the glaring double standards in the Federal Government’s approach to banks and trade unions exposed the corrupt motivation at the heart of the proposed EI laws.

ETU National Secretary Alan Hicks said the Prime Minister belled the cat on his own hypocrisy last week when he claimed “it’s not for the government to say” who should be running banks, after Westpac was found to have breached money laundering laws 23 million times.

 “Scott Morrison claims he’s powerless to do anything about banks who systemically break the law millions of times and get caught out facilitating child pornography and terrorism," Mr Hicks said.

 “And yet he’s trying to ram through a bill which would give the government the power to say who should be running trade unions, and to shut them down for minor paperwork errors.

“This Bill is purely and simply a means for the Government to interfere in the management of unions , or even to ban them, if they challenge the Government’s political authority.

“It is an affront to democracy and a blatant attack on freedom of association, and must be thrown out by the Senate this week.”

CFMEU Construction and General National Secretary Dave Noonan said cross-bench Senators could no longer be in any doubt over the political motivations behind the EI Bill.

“There is just no way this bill can be amended to make it more palatable.  At its heart, this Bill is fundamentally corrupt because it is targeted purely at trade unions." Mr Noonan said.

“It does nothing about ‘ensuring integrity’ in politics, the banking sector, or anywhere else in society.

“It does nothing to tackle rampant wage theft across the economy – including in the construction industry, where it’s estimated that $320 million a year in wages is going unpaid.

“Using the power and authority of the state to target your opponents is the stuff of tin-pot dictatorships.

“Senators who genuinely believe in the rule of law will reject this shoddy attack on the democratic rights of working Australians.”

Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Zoe Power

0419 499 886, [email protected]

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