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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Labour's Union "Partnership" Scam

Writing on Kiwiblog, David Farrar has highlighted one of the Labour government's biggest money and power grubbing scams.

It is interesting to read that the rate of union membership in the private sector has dropped to a miniscule 9% (was 48% in 1990), yet in the public sector is a massive 68%.

But it is little surprise. You see people get bribed in the public sector to join unions. Here is how it goes. Ministers instruct CEOs to accept a pay settlement which includes a higher level of pay if an employee is a member of the union and on a collective contract. They call this "partnership". Then your average civil servant, who is by no means dumb, looks at option A of no bonus cash and option B of say $1,500 bonus cash and they choose option B which requires joining the union. So then $400 of the $1,500 goes to the union as a membership fee. And then the union passes a portion of it either directly onto the Labour Party, or they spend it campaigning for Labour in the election. It's a nice wee circle.

A key player in this rort is the Department of Labour's "Partnership Resource Centre".

Run mainly by trade unionists, or former unionists turned "consultant", the PRC and the the Public Service Association's "Partnership for Quality" scheme are desined to increase union membership and therefore funding and support for Labour.

The "Partnership" programme is a direct descendant of the "Trade Union Compact" and "Workplace Reform" movements of the late '80s/early '90s.

Those schemes were the brainchild of the pro Soviet, Socialist Unity Party and were designed to cement unions into government and business structures in order to better exert SUP influence.

The Compact, Workplace Reform and the PSA's Partnership for Quality were all implemented largely by open and covert SUP members and supporters.

It is not surprising that several of PRC's Associates and Advisory Board members come from this type of background, including Minister of Finance, Michael Cullen's former economic advisor, Peter Harris.