What is The Union Show?

7 12 2010

The Union Show broadcast on community TV C31 in Melbourne Australia from 2005 to 2009 and is a rich source of information on unions and issues affecting unions in this country. Whilst the program is no longer produced for television, the producers, United Productions maintain both a Union Show blog and the UnitedPro2010 YouTube channel as a means of disseminating union information that would otherwise be lost in time and in the morass of anti-union misinformation that is distributed by mainstream media.

An extensive archive of Union Show episodes is available for viewing at http://theunionshow.blip.tv. Current union information can be sourced at www.theunionshow.com.au and at the UnitedPro2010 YouTube channel. There are many other web sources for union information that deal mainly in the written word. One of those sites and perhaps the venerable example is www.labourstart.org.au where you will find links to many other like-minded information outlets.


Dean Mighell has been appointed to a new Office of Solar Energy

3 09 2010

A new Office of Solar Energy and a $30 million boost to support renewable energy technology will drive new investment and the development of cleaner energy in Victoria, according to Premier John Brumby, who said a $30 million funding boost would support the development of alternative energy technologies.

This initiative is about partnering with industry to develop the technologies needed for the future to deliver clean energy for Victorian households, says the government. The funding will be available for parties interested in developing pilot-scale demonstration projects or research and development proposals for sustainable energy technologies in areas such as solar, wave, geothermal and bio-energy.

In addition to the $30 million fund, Mr Brumby announced a new Office of Solar Energy to bring together under one umbrella the work being done on solar energy in Victoria. The new office will become the first point of contact for industry, small business, the community and educational institutes looking for information about Victoria’s solar potential and work already underway.

Complementing the establishment of the Office of Solar Energy is the creation of a Medium Scale Solar Working Group, which will examine current barriers to investment and what additional measures are required to encourage the use of solar energy in Victoria. ETU secretary Dean Mighell has been appointed to the working group.

The working group will be chaired by Tony Wood, Director, Clean Energy Program of the William J Clinton Foundation, which was set up by former US President Bill Clinton to focus on worldwide issues such as climate change.

Other members include technical experts in the solar and finance industries as well as representatives from the unions, the commercial building sector and the community:

* Ian Porter – Alternative Technologies Association
* Cameron O’Reilly – Energy Retailers Association of Australia
* Andrew Blyth – Energy Networks Association
* Peter Lunt – Vic Super
* Dean Mighell – Electrical Trades Union
* Mark Twidell – Australian Solar Institute
* Mark Clover – ANZ
* Rod Menzies – Clean Energy Council
* Damon Moloney – Green Buildings Council

ETU Vic ends ALP link

13 08 2010

The Victorian branch of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has ended its long standing affiliation with the Labor Party, more than three years after its secretary was forced to quit the party.

With federal and state elections looming, 85 per cent of almost 7000 financial members who returned an official ballot voted to disaffiliate with the ALP.

Victorian branch secretary Dean Mighell was booted out of the Labor Party in 2007 after a tape emerged of him swearing and boasting about his negotiations with bosses.

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// On Tuesday, Mr Mighell said the ballot, conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission, was the end of a process that began more than 18 months ago and would give the union greater independence.

“It was the view of our State Council that the ETU should not be limited by a relationship with the ALP, and that many decisions by the ALP in government were not delivering for workers and their families,” he said.

“Our belief is that too many unions use affiliation not for pursuing better policy outcomes, but for chasing pre-selections.”

The union has contributed about $80,000 a year to the Labor Party.

Mr Mighell has claimed Kevin Rudd broke a promise made before the 2007 federal election to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

The ETU will now support the Greens’ candidate in the marginal seat of Melbourne, held by retiring Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner.

Mr Mighell said the decision to support Greens’ candidate Adam Bandt was made several months ago and was separate to this ballot.

He said Mr Bandt, a lawyer, had done work for the union and was against the government’s industrial relations laws.

He also denied the ballot was part of a personal revenge campaign, after he was kicked out of the ALP.

“If I wanted to take revenge, I would have disaffiliated by an executive decision two years ago,” he told AAP.

“You can’t be more far removed from the decision yourselves when you go to the trouble of having the Electoral Commission do the ballot – I think the decision has a lot of integrity.

“We could not get better proof that it’s (the disaffiliation) all about the issues, and not about me,” Mr Mighell said.

Workchoices never again – but who does stand for Fair Work?

13 08 2010

The VTHC has passed a motion to support both Greens and ALP candidates in the seat of Melbourne. The motion followed a previous motion by the Council Executive to support ALP in marginal seats. However the seat of Melbourne Greens candidate Adam Bandt is supported by several affiliate unions in preference to ALP candidate Cath Bowtell.

Both candidates spoke to the chamber at the Council meeting last Thursday as exponents of workers rights. Both candidates have a history of union employment and advocacy. They do however stand opposed to each other on Fairwork Australia.

Ms Bowtell was employed at the ACTU for 15 years and was the lead ACTU negotiator in the development of the Fair Work Act introduced by Julia Gillard. She replaces Lindsay Tanner and was the clear frontrunner to replace Mr Tanner in the marginal seat, with the support of key state and federal ministers. Mr Bandt is an industrial and public interest lawyer. He was previously a partner at Slater and Gordon and has more recently worked on legals for both the UFU and the ETU where he has been an architect of the successful CEPU representation to the ILO on the contravention of ILO conventions on workers’ rights by Fairwork Australia.

The VTHC unequivocally supports changes in Fairwork Australia and it is largely acknowledged that the Gillard Fair Work Act 2009 saw only the partial return of rights lost under Howard’s Work Choices legislation; with the retention of the ABCC, the continued outlawing of “pattern bargaining”, and considerable restrictions on union right of entry in the workplace.. Most unions have spent the last year or so adapting to the Fair Work Act, the so called Award Modernisation process and OHS ‘harmonisation’. All very time consuming and often frustrating.

The ACTU leadership has made a few brief statements about the need for a second term IR agenda in the lead up to the federal election.
At the recent ACTU Executive a comprehensive pre–federal election resolution was passed. It included strengthening workers’ rights and extending collective bargaining: “The Executive recognises there is more work to do to secure and improve the rights of working Australians.”

New Federal IR Minister Simon Crean told a recent ACTU Executive (20/7/2010) that he believed the Federal Government had ‘got the balance right’ on IR and that the Fair Work Act was not up for more changes. Victorian unions are united for change to the Fairwork legislation. Both Melbourne candidates cite support for the union position on workers rights.

When The Dust Settles

28 07 2010

The ETU Qld & NT Branch is opposed to Uranium Mining.

“When the Dust Settles” is a DVD production to explain to Members and the people of Australia the dangers and effects that Uranium mining creates.

This is a “Must See” for any Sparky or Workers tempted to work in a uranium mine.

Uranium mining lines up to be seen as the asbestos of the 21st century

Copies of the video are available at all ETU Qld & NT Offices.

Visit http://www.etu.org.au or mail info@cepuqld.asn.au

Queensland Protestors Rally Against Assets Sell-Off

28 07 2010

At rallies throughout the state, Queensland unions show their solid opposition to selling off railways, roads, forests and motorways.

In Queensland, the Bligh Government has arrogantly proceeded with its privatisation plans despite over 80% of Queenslanders opposing the decision.
The government’s original reason for the sell-off – to plug an alleged hole in the budget due to the Global Financial Crisis – just doesn’t stack up anymore.
Send a message to the Queensland State Government that you don’t support its privatisation plans.

No government has the right to sell-off our kids’ future!


ACTU Climate Change

17 06 2010

[blip.tv ?posts_id=2908008&dest=-1]

This is our much requested last Union Show episode for 2009.

We hear from the CFMEU President, Tony Maher, as well as Giulia Baggio (ACTU) and Dean Mighell (ETU) about the challenge of climate change and the unions.

The Episode has been nominated for the 2010 Antenna Community Television Award in the category of Information, Current Affairs or Interview Program. The Award will be announced on June 27 at the Antenna Awards presentation night, at the BMW Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne.