ACTU Executive Resolution: The Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) and political interference in the autonomy of unions

The following resolution was carried by the ACTU Executive:

The events of the past 7 days reinforces what the ACTU has been saying all along is true; The ROC is a political organisation operating to attack unions who represent the interests of working people and is persecuting the opponents of the Turnbull government who advocate for higher wages and better conditions for working people.

There is now a string of political appointments to and politicised actions by agencies established by the Turnbull government and directly under the control of Minister Cash.  The establishment of the ABCC, appointment and defence of a long term law breaker in Nigel Hadgkiss, the fiasco of the ROC raid and the director confusing which union he was investigating and the questionable transfer of staff between the Fair Work Ombudsman and Minister Cash’s office all point to government more interested in attacking unions than in improving wages and conditions for working people.

Sadly this behaviour follows a pattern set by the final years of the Howard Government that also politicised organisations and agencies in order to push their anti-worker ideological agenda and attack unions.

The decision by members of Minister Cash’s office to ensure the media was aware of and present at the ROC initiated raid on the AWU clearly shows that the Turnbull government is using the ROC as a tool in its political vendetta against unions.

At a time of stagnating wages, growing inequality, insecure work and growing cost pressures the need for workers to be able to join their unions and actively participate in improving their wages and working conditions is as great as ever.

Instead of acting to bring back fairness to workplaces so working people can achieve wage increases and reduce inequality Minister Cash and the Turnbull government have wasted millions of dollars establishing political agencies to target unions and make it more difficult for workers to organise.

The ACTU therefore resolves to demand that the Turnbull government should immediately withdraw the bills that it has in parliament that would give even more power to the ROC and further provide the Minister with the opportunity to politicise the actions of government agencies.

Media contact: Peter Green 0400 764 200 or ACTU Media 03 9664 7315