Unions remind Albanese who’s boss over Setka

Unions remind Albanese who’s boss over Setka, by Katrina Grace Kelly.

Because of the attempted hit on Setka — which has been akin to stabbing a sleeping bear in the face with a toothpick — every Labor politician in the country is now at risk of being drawn into a dangerous maelstrom, which Albanese has singlehandedly created.

Troy Gray, Setka’s ally, stated the obvious when he declared: “John Setka is not going anywhere.”

Gray also announced that the union he leads, the Victorian Electrical Trades Union, intends to trawl through the personal lives of state and federal ALP politicians in a search for dirt to use against them: “If sending a text message is the standard for resignation then there definitely will be some nervous politicians out there because we will audit them.” …

Who owns whom:

Despite the fact that the unions effectively sacked Kevin Rudd as prime minister, most commentators either just don’t understand this basic fact, or refuse to admit it; the unions own Labor, Labor doesn’t own the unions.

A football player can never bring down their team’s owner, an employee can never have the owner of the business they work for sacked, and Labor politicians cannot sack union officials.

All Labor politicians remain in their jobs by the good grace of the people that run the unions, and although it suits Labor, the unions, and Labor-aligned commentators to pretend otherwise to the general public, it remains a simple fact that unions can get rid of Labor politicians, whenever they feel like it. …

Rough trades and white breads:

When it comes to people in the labour movement, there is a vast chasm between “rough trades” — those who rose up to leadership from the shop floor, with dirty hands and hardened resolve — and “white breads”, those who developed their left-wing politics at university.

Rough trades tend to hold white breads in contempt, perhaps because of the way white breads idolise and romanticise the working-class existence but nevertheless fail to understand it. …

Hold them to the same standards:

Admittedly, in terms of pure entertainment value there is not enough popcorn in the whole world to cater for the debacle we see unfolding before us. It is delicious, too, that Labor politicians are finally being given the same treatment that employers are routinely subjected to.

The fun and games are underlined by a serious issue, however. The people who run unions and employer groups do need to be held to the same standards as other office-bearers in the community. The entities should also pay tax, just like corporations do.

It is well past time that our legislative framework stopped treating registered industrial organisations as special cases.