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Re Union Power
(Letter published in The Australian, 23 July 2012. Square bracketed deleted by Ed)

You suggest [a widespread perception exists] that trade unions “exert inordinate control over federal Labor” (“Unions bad message for Labor”, 21-22/7). That, surely, is a gross understatement, as confirmed by Julia Gillard’s inviting the union club to dinner at the Lodge and her rejection of Gary Banks’s suggestion of a competitive review of the Fair Work Act arrangements.

[This despite the quasi-monopolistic powers now being exercised by the union movement and the increasingly desperate actions by businesses taken under the common law for economic damage against both unions collectively and individual unionists. This need arises because the] provisions in the Fair Work Act mean the tribunal and the Federal Court are unable to prevent extremist union actions. Indeed, by ignoring the decision of the Victorian Supreme Court to cease picketing Toll, the union movement has effectively said “we are the law”.

What did the Minister for Workplace Relations say about this. Nothing, [he is in Washington]. Nor did Gillard have anything to say because she was too busy courting union support for her leadership.

Des Moore, South Yarra Vic

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