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Labor proposes modifications to tackle union misconduct

Updated December 07, 2015 00:28:33

Federal Labor will today announce a suite of measures aimed at improving union governance, with tougher penalties for criminal offences and much more protections for whistleblowers on the cards.

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has uncovered misconduct in a number of unions, and is due to report by the end of the month.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told ABC’s Insider’s program on Sunday that he would be announcing the new standards.

“There has been some proof come out about the [Well being Solutions Union] and one particular or two other unions, which to my way of considering signifies we need to talk about improving governance,” he stated.

Labor’s strategy contains:

  • boosting powers for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to investigate breaches of the Fair Operate Act
  • doubling the maximum penalties for criminal offences
  • rising the size of the Fair Perform Commission, with $ 4.five million in additional funding
  • lowering the threshold at which election donations have to be declared from $ 13,000 to $ 1,000
  • giving union whistleblowers the identical protections that exist in the public sector.

Labor’s workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor stated the modifications would support stop rorting by dishonest officials.

“We want to see robust, effective and sincere unions representing working people in this nation and so if there are — and we know there are a handful of — [unions] that have carried out the wrong issue, we want to detect that early,” he stated.

In a joint statement from Mr Shorten, Mr O’Connor and Labor MP Mark Dreyfus, the Opposition also pledged to “assistance unions in their transition to a modern movement, which continues to advocate for nation changing reforms”.

The proposed changes would also see a mandatory rotation of auditors every five years and penalties of up to 12-month jail sentences for “auditors failing to do their job”.

Topics: unions, alp, government-and-politics, federal-government, corporate-governance, industrial-relations, australia

Very first posted December 07, 2015 00:23:59

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