Below is a Press Release on the submission lodged with the Royal Commission by the HR Nicholls Society. The submission, drafted by two prominent lawyers, shows the many advantages which trade unions have under the existing legislation and its administering body, the Fair Work Commission headed by a former trade unionist.
The HR Nicholls release follows the release last Friday by Stoljar (counsel assisting the RC) of 1000 pages (!) of his findings and his assessment that a number of high-profile union leaders should be charged. Attached is an article in today’s AFR outlining Stoljar’s conclusions and summarising what the AFR author describes as the RC’s “preliminary reform proposals” under the heading Recommendations.Note the heading of the article – “Unions fight for their lives”
Stoljar’s list of those who should be charged does not include Julia Gillard, although he concludes her behaviour was “questionable”. Whether Commissioner Heydon reaches such a limited conclusion remains to be seen. Andrew Bolt’s article implies he may not.
More importantly, it is to be hoped that Commissioner Heydon does not go along with what appear to be Stoljar’s limited recommendations on the reform of the existing legislation and Fair Work Commission. At the heart of the corruption and criminality are the advantages given to the trade union movement, including the effective prevention of individual bargaining and the resultant collective bargaining process which “unionises” relations between employers and employees and has adverse economic and legal effects. There is no basis for unions having such advantages and completely new regulatory arrangements are required.