Labor’s response to Setka follows same old union script

Today in The Australian

Whatever one thinks of John Setka, this much is clear: expelling him from the ALP will do nothing to prevent the lawlessness that has become the hallmark of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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21 Responses to Labor’s response to Setka follows same old union script

  1. stackja

    ALP the same as always.

  2. mh

    I want to hear your argument, but you are behind a paywall.

  3. stackja

    mh
    #3047949, posted on June 21, 2019 at 8:18 am

    I Googled

    Whatever one thinks of John Setka, this much is clear: expelling him from the ALP will do nothing to prevent the lawlessness that has become the hallmark of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union.

    And got:

    And this too is clear: for all of Anthony Albanese’s bluster, Labor remains every bit as unwilling to deal with that lawlessness as it has always been. Rather, time and again, Labor’s response to union violence has been the same, running through a cycle so repeatedly as to make one believe in the myth of the eternal return.

    The pattern underpinning that response is simplicity itself. Like the mafia bosses the sociologist Diego Gambetta studied, who punished crooks when their violence was “dishonourable” — for example, because they attacked women — so Labor tries to discipline offenders only once their behaviour threatens to bring the entire system into disrepute.

    And even then it invariably makes the response as narrow as possible, leaving the root causes untouched and ensuring the underlying problems persist.

    To say that is not to ignore Bob Hawke’s move against Norm Gallagher and the Builders Labourers Federation. But far from being an exception to the rule, Hawke’s actions remain its most telling demonstration.

    In effect, the building industry’s descent into lawlessness was hardly a recent phenomenon when the Hawke government finally acted to deregister the BLF. Nor was the BLF alone in making extortion, blackmail and corruption an integral part of its standard operating procedures.

  4. stackja

    ….

    During the 2007 election campaign, Julia Gillard repeatedly promised that the new industrial relations system Labor intended to introduce would be enforced by an “umpire with teeth”. However, the Fair Work Act, which replaced Work Choices, did not simply turn back the clock by abolishing the ABCC; it also modified the definitions of lawless behaviour in the industrial relations laws to make misconduct extremely difficult to prove, while dramatically reducing the ability of the workplace regulator to evidence illegal ­dealings.

    The effect was to expand the scope for union malpractice, which, even if uncovered, could only be punished through trivially small fines. Given the incentives that created, the ink was scarcely dry on Gillard’s legislation before the CFMEU exploited it to the hilt.

    By 2014, when Dyson Heydon’s Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption was established, flagrant abuse was yet again the order of the day. It concluded the industrial laws gave unions a “privileged position” without “proper legislative measures to safeguard the interests of those affected by those privileges and the general public interest”.

    That power without accountability would lead to every form of misconduct should have been obvious. And it should also have been obvious that the gangrene would spread as opportunities for extortion attracted into the unions leaders who were violent and venal, and whose comparative advantage lay in extracting for themselves and their associates the rents the IR system created.

    The result, as Federal Court judge Geoffrey Flick found in 2017, was that the CFMEU “repeatedly sought to place itself above the law”, while its officials showed “total contempt” for the constraints the law imposed.

    But none of that troubled Labor, which, since losing office in 2013, has denounced, and sought to prevent, each and every attempt at cleaning up the mess it left behind.

    Now, however, even the ALP has had to recognise the damage union lawlessness is causing to the labour movement’s standing. Yet rather than tackle the root causes of the problem, it has — repeating its longstanding pattern — focused on personalities, as if changing the cast would change the script.

    That hasn’t worked before, and it won’t work now. If Labor can’t understand that, it deserves to lose, and then lose again.

  5. mh

    Now, however, even the ALP has had to recognise the damage union lawlessness is causing to the labour movement’s standing. Yet rather than tackle the root causes of the problem, it has — repeating its longstanding pattern — focused on personalities, as if changing the cast would change the script.

    I would suggest that the CFMMEU going off script with coal and Adani is the reason the ALP is going after John Setka.

  6. I have not seen any post on this matter today – so I will offer this:

    Israel Folau has just launched an appeal to fund his termination under the Fair Work Act. Rugby Australia has indicated that they may take this all the way to the High Court. This is a seminal case in respect to the right to speak freely, within the scope of civil law, outside the workplace.

    One may not agree with either his religion or his religious beliefs, but if his case does not succeed, I believe that every Australian will thereafter be prohibited from publicly enunciating their beliefs. This would have ramifications not only for every day citizens, but potentially for every religious order within even the confines of their places of worship.

    You can contribute to his appeal via:

    http://www.gofundme.com/israel-israel-folau-legal-action-fund.

  7. NuThink

    Labor intended to introduce would be enforced by an “umpire with teeth”.

    They did give it teeth, but they were false teeth which could be removed and reinserted as and when the need arose.
    There is only one law in Oz, but that one law does not apply to every one.
    Reminds me of the comments about Zimbabwe. It had “One Man One Vote”, and that one man was Robert Mugabe.

  8. Rafe Champion

    It is just possible that the thug had the right end of the stick re Rosy Batty.
    A broken clock is right twice a day. Millennials google “clocks with hands.”

  9. Rafe Champion

    hour hand. noun. the thing that points to the hour on a clock or watch. The thing that points to the minute is called the minute hand, and the thing that points to the seconds is called the second hand.

  10. mareeS

    [email protected]

    Izzy’s fight on the right to speak freely has to be won, otherwise where are we? In totalitarian territory.

  11. mareeS

    Same as John Setka, thug that he is. He should be able to use his voice, but not his fists.

  12. candy

    expelling him from the ALP will do nothing to prevent the lawlessness that has become the hallmark of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union.

    I think that is wrong. It will be the start of pulling the rogue unions into gear.

    Albanese is on the right track, but he really must show ticker. What has he got to lose by doing the right thing? either he’s dedicated and means business, or he’s useless. It is a deciding issue. He will get respect from the public for being somewhat courageous or he will become a union puppet like Bill Shorten. It is up to him.

  13. max

    Nothing will change as long as you have “right to strike” laws.

  14. NuThink

    Millennials google “clocks with hands.”

    How does one explain clock wise or anti clock wise to a millennial?
    Maybe clock wise means the wisdom of the clock or anti clock wise those against the wisdom of the clock (as in Antifa). Judging by movies that come out of FollyWood they would believe that is what clock wise means. Tell them that the clock has come from a faraway universe to save the world.
    Or in modern context it can be explained that clock wise is the direction of the Right (like deplorables and conservatives), and anti clockwise is the direction of the Left or liberals (so called progressives). No wonder the millennials get confused.

  15. stackja

    NuThink
    #3048120, posted on June 21, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Digital age!

  16. Beachcomber

    Rafe Champion at 9:34 am

    It is just possible that the thug had the right end of the stick re Rosy Batty.
    A broken clock is right twice a day. Millennials google “clocks with hands.”

    All of Setka’s union thuggery, threats and insults are ignored or quietly endorsed by Labor.
    It’s interesting that Albanese decided to base his factional attack on one piece of purported “wrong-think” about a victim group untouchable of the cultural Marxist left. It shows us lot more about Albanese than Setka, and what we are seeing is highly disturbing.

  17. Dr Fred Lenin

    Sit back and watch the bitch fight ,the usual immoral alp backstabbing tussle . Sticking up for batty to curry the feminazi vote ,as if they wouldnt get it anyway and taking the unions for granted ,the feminazi bitches would never vote liberal in a fit . Still they might go communust gangrene ,there are enough bitches there alrady of all 57 varieties ,of gender ,gender is now a Heinz product .
    One day the union members will wake up to the fact that. the lowest of the low middle classes in the alp aparat , hate ,fear and despise the workers who pay for their lucrative careers ,then look out comrades .

  18. iamok

    Let’s not forget the CONSTRUCT offshoot of the CFMEU doing all of the roadworks in Melbournistan. The money go round just continues

  19. Up The Workers!

    Damn that Rosie Batty…impugning a Union boss’s right to come home, kick the cat and knuckle the missus.

    Who does she think she is?

  20. Iva Right

    I think a Batty is actually batty but if she is the tool that will chip away at labor and the unions, well more strength to her arm!

  21. egg_

    .Like the mafia bosses the sociologist Diego Gambetta studied, who punished crooks when their violence was “dishonourable” — for example, because they attacked women — so Labor tries to discipline offenders only once their behaviour threatens to bring the entire system into disrepute.

    A Fugocracy.

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