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Tracking the unionists in parliament

Just how strong is the bond between the union movement and the Labor Party? To find out, it’s time to update our list of every former unionist in our Parliaments across the country. Send all corrections and additions to smayne@crikey.com.au and there’ll be a few as we haven’t updated this since 2006. We’re already into the hundreds as we’re also listing unsuccessful candidates from 2004 and former MPs with union backgrounds.


Unionists currently in Australian parliaments

Dick Adams: the Federal member for Lyons was a meat worker who rose to be union organiser with the Australian Meat Industries Employees’ Union and the Liquor and Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union.

Michael Aird: Tassie upper house member who worked for an unknown union.

Anthony Albanese: the Federal MP for Grayndler and prominent lefty hails from the AMWU faction although there is a question mark over whether he actually worked for them.

Pam Allan: Wentworthville MP in NSW and former Minister who came from the NSW Teacher’s Federation.

Marie Andrews: Peats MP in NSW. Upon leaving school at 15, undertook business course (shorthand/typing) and later word processor. For 17 years, private Secretary to NSW Branch Secretary, Australian Railway Unions, now Public Transport Union.

Michael Atkinson: SA Attorney-General and Oberfuhrer of the Right. Well, he was a member of the AJA (now MEAA) when a journo at The Advertiser, and is still a member of the ASU. His father was head of the DLP in SA when it existed.

Jim Bacon: The late Tasmanian premier was formerly Secretary of the Tasmanian Trades and Labor Council and a member of the ACTU Executive, as well as being a delegate to the ILO’s International Labor Conference. Prior to that, he was an official, then State Secretary, of the BLF. Not bad for a toffie former Scotch College boy out of Melbourne.

Ken Bacon: the member for Bass in the Tassie Parliament came out of the TWU.

John Bartlett: MLA for Port Stephens in NSW and President of the Port Stephens Teachers Association.

Peter Batchelor: The Victorian Transport Minister did 10 years with the quaintly named Furnishing Union from 1973-83.

Peter Beattie: The Queensland Premier was the former State Secretary of the Queensland Railway Employees Union. He is a member of the MEAA.

Liz Beattie: Victorian member for Tullamarine and an ASU Organiser and Victorian Trades Hall Council Buildings Manager to MLA for Yuroke

Wayne Berry: The Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly was formerly head of the Firemen’s Union.

Brenton Best: the member for Braddon in Tassie also came out of the TWU.

Arch Bevis: the Federal member for Brisbane was a teacher who rose to become an organiser and then deputy general secretary of the Queensland Teachers’ Union 1980-90.

Senator Mark Bishop: a former State Secretary of the SDA in Western Australia and was also the WA state secretary of the National Union of Workers (NUW). For a while he was also in charge of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union and the Hairdressers’ and Wigmakers Union. A unionist with many wigs it seems.

Stephen Dominic Bredhauer: the former Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads was formerly a union organiser for the Queensland Teachers Union.

Clive Brown: WA minister for trade and state development and a former secretary of the LHMWU in WA. He was also state secretary of the Miscellaneous Workers’ Union from 1976 to 1978 and later president and then secretary of the Trades and Labor Council.

John Brumby: The Victorian Treasurer started out as a Teachers Union official and is a toffy Melbourne Grammar old boy.

Geoff Buckland: the SA senator is a former SA State Secretary of the Federated Ironworkers’ Union but just before leaping into the ailing John Quirke’s still-warm seat he was the AWU’s Whyalla branch secretary.

Meredith Burgmann: President of the NSW Legislative Council. Life Member, National Tertiary Education Union and member of various Green groups.

Anna Burke: the federal Member for Chisholm in Melbourne’s east has a heavy union background as an Industrial Officer at VicRoads and the Victorian Institute of Technology before becoming an industrial officer for the Finance Sector Union.

Tony Burke: Labor’s federal shadow immigration spokesman hails from the SDA.

Jan Burnswoods: NSW upper House MP who came out of the Teacher’s Federation.

Cherie Burton: NSW member for Kogarah who worked for the Storemen and Packers unions.

Anthony Byrne: Federal member for Holt and former SA Branch organiser for the SDA.

Paul Caica: In 2002 became Member for Colton in SA Parliament. Was Secretary of the United Firefighters Union and a former firefighter himself. Needs to know how to hose things down as a member of the Bolkus Left.

Christine Campbell:
former Victorian Family Services minister who was a branch organiser with the Shop Distributors (SDA).

Senator George Campbell:
former National Secretary of the Australian Metal Workers Union who is retiring next year.

Senator Kim Carr: a former School President of the Technical Teachers Union and twice failed in tilts to become an organiser. Is a general screaming lefty in the Senate from what Crikey hears on News Radio and maybe should not be on the list because he’s a failed wannabe union organiser who never really got beyond the house committee.

Elizabeth Clark: Queensland MLA for the seat of Clayfield (formerly held by Santo Santoro) was an Industrial Officer with the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

Senator Jacinta Collins: a former SDA Industrial Officer in Victoria.

Pat Conlon: South Australian MP who was an LHMWU organiser in the late 1980s.

Stephen Conroy: Labor’s communications spokesman was an organiser with the Transport Workers Union but his Who’s Who entry fails to mention this.

Michael Costa: the NSW Treasurer was formerly secretary of the NSW Labor Council.

Simon Crean: The member for Hotham and former Labor leader was ACTU President and rose up through the Storeman and Packers union.

Senator Trish Crossin: was the NT Secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union. She has worked for the NTEU, the AEU and the ALHMWU.

Michael Crutchfield: Labor member for South Barwon in Victorian Parliament, former Geelong Mayor and a former union delegate of the United Firefighters Council.

Michael Danby: the federal Member for Melbourne Ports was an industrial Officer for the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association 1994-96 and was also President of the Melbourne University Student Union.

Kaye Darveniza: Upper House Victorian MP was secretary of HACSU (HSUA Victorian No 2 Branch) for 10 years.

John Della Bosca: The fix-it Minister in NSW was an organiser for the Transport Officer’s Federation.

Ed Dermer: North Metropolitan representative in the WA Legislative Council who was a full-time union organiser with the SDA before joining parliament.

Kate Doust: South Metropolitan Region representative in the WA Legislative Council who was a junior vice-president of the Trades and Labor Council before winning a seat in parliament. Her husband, Bill Johnston is the State Secretary of the WA ALP. Both hail from the conservative Catholic union the SDA where Kate was an organiser and Bill rose to be State Secretary.

Joanne Duncan: Victorian MLA who was an organiser for the Victorian Independent Education Union.

Ros Dundas: an ACT Parliamentary Member for the Democrats and a former organiser with the CPSU in Canberra. Has also run for the Democrats federally.

Sue Ellery: South Metropolitan Region representative in the WA Legislative Council, was an industrial officer in the Australian Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union until being elected.

Chris Evans: Labor senator from WA was with the Miscellaneous Workers’ Union (Industrial Officer) & WA Fire Brigade Employees Union as State Secretary.

Iain (son of Stan) Evans: National President of Apex (a close knit band of brothers)

Gary Fenlon: Member for Greenslopes in the Queensland Parliament and a former industrial advocate for the Nurses Union.

Laurie Ferguson: lacklustre federal MP who came up through the Miscellaneous Workers Union like his brother Martin.

Martin Ferguson: former ACTU President who rose up through the Miscellaneous Workers Union and who is now a long-time Federal Labor frontbencher.

Senator Michael Forshaw: former National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union.

Gail Gago: Former Australian Nursing Union state secretary in SA and now in the SA Upper House after two previous failed runs for federal seats Adelaide and Makin. Her sister is a Labor MP in Victoria.

John Gazzola: Long time Secretary of the ASU (after Rr Clarke) in SA until elected into Parliament in 2002.

Jenny George: the former ACTU Secretary who scored herself the very safe Labor seat of Throsby in the Illawarra in the 2001 election.

Graham Giffard: member of WA Upper house for the North Metropolitan Region and previously an industrial officer with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union before he entered politics. Was also an electorate officer to John Dawkins.

Steve Gibbons:
the member for Bendigo was a union officer for four years in the early 90s with the Liquor and Hospitality union.

Mary Gillett: Victorian member for Werribee who came from the National Union of Workers.

Monica Gould: the ousted Victorian IR Minister was with the Manufacturing Grocers Association, which became part of the National Union of Workers. Was the first female President of the Victorian Upper House.

Larry Graham: Labor member for Pilbara since 1989 before being ousted in a factional battle by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. Was a full-time union official before entering politics and still holds the seat as an independent.

Bryan Green: a former AMWU man who became deputy premier of Tasmania but is now facing charges.

Danielle Green: from Vice President of State Public Services Federation to member for Yan Yean in Victoria.

Alan Griffin: the member for Bruce was an organiser with the Federated Clerks Union and was instrumental in getting Lindsay Tanner elected as Assistant Secretary in 1987.

John Hatzistergos: NSW MLC & Chairman of Committees. Member of Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association 1977-1983, Australian Government Lawyers’ Association 1986 - 1989 and Australia Services Union 1993 to present.

Kerry Hickey: MLA for Cessnock in NSW Parliament and former President of the Newcastle Milk Vendors Association from 1995-1997.

Senator John Hogg: former QLD State Secretary of the SDA which are a close relative of the old NCC.

Senator Stephen Hutchins:
former TWU State Secretary and National President.

Morris Iemma: NSW Premier was formerly an Industrial Officer for the Commonwealth Bank Employees Union.

Sharryn Jackson: won the Federal seat of Hasluck in WA in 2001. Soon after finishing university she started work as the women’s officer at the Trades and Labor Council. For the past 15 years, Sharryn has been an industrial officer and for the last 10 years, as an assistant secretary with the Miscellaneous Workers Union WA (LHMU).

Gavin Jennings: Melbourne Upper house in Victoria and schooled by those rough nuts in the ETU and the Liquor Trades as well as the Public Transport Union.

Steph Key: South Australian Minister in the Rann government sho was with the TWU for much of the 1980s and 90s before scoring that nice Parliamentary sinecure with the beaut pension.

Linda Kirk: a right winger backed into a winnable position on the South Australian senate ticket by the Bolkus Left. Formerly connected with the SDA by way of marriage and membership.

Tom Koutsantonis: South Australian MP who was with the SDA as an organiser in the mid 1990s before winning a seat in 1997.

Telmo Languiller: Member for Sunshine in Victorian Parliament and a former top dog at the Health Employees Federation after being an organiser in the late 80s early 90s for the Health Services Union of Australia.

Shaun Leane: new upper house MP in Victoria who hails from the ETU.

Paul Lennon: Tasmanian Premier was an organiser, then secretary and senior vice president of the Storeman and Packers Union (Tas Branch), after which he was the secretary of the Tasmanian Trades and Labor Council between (1984-1989) and a member of the ACTU Executive.

Michael Leighton: Member for Preston in Victorian Parliament and an ex HEF No2 and former HACSU (Health and Community Services Union) Assistant Secretary.

Veronica Lesley: Queensland MLA for the seat of Aspley elected in March 2001 who was formerly a Professional Officer at Queensland Nurses Union. Her real name is apparently Bonny Barry.

Kirsten Livermore: member for Capricornia was an organiser with the Commonwealth Public Service Union 1995 before becoming a solicitor and then entering Parliament.

Fran Logan: Labor member for Cockburn in the WA Legislative Assembly, worked for the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union from 1986 until being elected to parliament.

Senator Joe Ludwig: former Industrial Advocate with the Queensland branch of the Australian Workers Union under his father, the all-powerful Bill Ludwig.

Senator Kate Lundy: former President of the ACT Labor Council and worked as a builders labourer, then an organiser for the Building Workers Industrial Union (BWIU) (now CFMEU). Was VP for BWIU and also formerly married to a construction industry unionist.

Senator Sue Mackay: formerly an organiser for the Liquor and Allied Trades Union in Tassie and an industrial officer for the Community and Public Sector Union.

Jenny Macklin: Labor’s former deputy leader was a research co-ordinator with Community & Public Sector Union & Labour Resource Centre in Victoria.

Jann McFarlane: Federal Labor Member for Stirling who was a founding member of what was then the Australian Social Welfare Union (now the ASU).

Justin Madden: Victoria’s planning minister was formerly in charge of the AFL Players Association.

Norm Marlborough: member for Peel in the WA Legislative Assembly, was a full-time union official at the WA branch of the AMIEU (Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union) before entering Parliament and disgracing himself as a Brian Burke clone.

Gavin Marshall: Victorian Senator first elected in 2001 and Assistant State Secretary with the Electrical Trades Union.

Ian Maxfield: Labor member in the Victorian seat of Narracan is formerly from the SDA.

Jim McGinty: Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Legal Affairs in WA who is also the key numbers man in the Carpenter government. Jim was secretary of the Miscellaneous Workers’ Union from 1978 to 1990. He was an industrial officer with the Hospital Employees’ Union from 1972 to 1978 and a former Trades and Labor Council advocate in the Industrial Relations Commission.
Sheila McHale: WA’s Minister for Community Development, Women’s Interests, Seniors, Youth, Disability Services, Culture and the Arts. She worked for the State School Teachers Union of WA before entering politics.

Bob McMullan: Member for Fraser (ACT) who has spent a life time as a party official, union official and MP and is now Kevin Rudd’s spokesman for federal-state relations.

James Merlino: from SDA advisor (national office) to MLA for Monbulk

Clair Moore: Queensland Senator who spent 17 years with the Queensland Branch of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU). Elected secretary in 1993 and then elected VP of Queensland ACTU in 1994.

Reba Meagher: Cabramatta MP in the NSW Parliament and a former TWU official.

Mick Murray: member for Collie in the WA Legislative Assembly, is president of the Collie Combined Coalmining Unions’ Council.

Sang Nguyen: Melbourne West Upper House MP in Victoria and formerly an ethnic organiser with the National Union of Workers before he became mayor of Richmond.

Gordon Nuttall: former Queensland Minister for Industrial Relations was formerly a State Organiser for the Queensland Branch of the Electrical Trades Union.

Senator Kerry O’Brien: The ALP Senate whip was a research officer for the Federated Miscellaneous Workers’ Union (1974-82), the Tasmanian Branch Secretary of the same mob (1983-1992), the Tasmanian Branch Secretary of the Australian Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union (1992-1996), the Vice-President of the Miscellaneous Workers’ Division, Australian Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union 1991-96 and, during most of the foregoing period, a Federal Executive Member, Federal Councillor, Federated Miscellaneous Workers’ Union/Australian Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union (1983-96).

Brendan O’Connor: replaced Neil O’Keefe in his safe Victorian seat of Burke in 2001. Was an organiser with the MEU, then became Assistant National Secretary of the ASU.

Tim Pallas: Victoria’s new roads and port minister is a former assistant secretary of the ACTU.

John Pandazopoulos: The dumped gaming minister in Victoria was an organiser with the Insurance Employees Union which became part of the Finance Sector Union. Before that he was a manager at a McDonalds store, where he actively promoted membership of the Liquor Trades Union.

Bronwyn Pike: Victorian Health Minister who came out of the Teachers Unions before working with the Uniting Church and was also once National Industrial Officer with the Finance Sector Union (FSU).

David Price: another AMWU man now in the Tassie lower house and he also did a stint as ALP State secretary in Tasmania.

Patrick Purcell: Queensland MLA for Bulimba was formerly Secretary of the Australian Building Construction Employees’ and Builders Labourers’ Federation (Qld Branch) and Vice President Federal Australian Building Construction Employees, and Builders Labourers’ Federation.

John Quigley
: WA MLA who was a prominent barrister and solicitor practising in Perth. His work has included appearing on behalf of the Western Australian Police Officers’ Union and he is patron of the WA Police Union Social Club and WA Policy Legacy. John worked as a shearer/roustabout, labourer, truck driver and salesman before he studied law. He is the only non-police officer to ever be awarded life membership of the Western Australian Police Union.

Jennifer Rankine:
Elected to the SA Parliament in 1997 and was an ASU work place delegate for MP staffers. She had been a staffer with Mike Rann until elected.

Nathan Rees: newly elected member for Toongabbie in NSW who hails from the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU).

Eric Ripper: the WA Deputy Premier and Treasurer was a teacher by profession but served four years as a full-time official with the State School Teachers Union.

Bernie Ripoll: The French-born sparkie got on the fast train to become Member for Oxley by becoming an organiser with the State Public Services Federation of Queensland in the mid 1990s.

Neil Roberts: Queensland MLA for Nudgee was formerly an Industrial Advocate for Electrical Trades Union.

Terry Roberts: South Australian MP who grew up in the rough and tumble of the CFMEU in the 1970s and 80s.

Neil Roberts:
MP in Queensland Parliament and formerly an industrial officer with the ETU.

Stephen Robertson: Queensland Minister for Mines and Energy and a former State secretary for the United Fire Fighters Union.

Nicola Roxon: the federal member for Gellibrand has a law degree and was a Judge’s associate but also did the ubiquitous two-year stint in the mid-1990s as an organiser at the National Union of Workers.

Robert Schwarten: Member for Rockhampton in the QLD Parliament and a former Queensland Teachers Union organiser

Bob Sercombe: the uninspiring member for Maribyrnong hails originally from a union and the Victorian Parliament.

Senator Nick Sherry:
was the State Secretary of Federated Liquor and Allied Industries Union in Tasmania between 1979-90 and a National Councillor of the Union between 1981-90.

Bob Smith: the President of the Victorian Legislative Council and member for Chelsea was with the Australian Workers Union.

Bob Sneath: MLC in SA and a former AWU state secretary who this year sat on the big red bench vacated by long-serving MLC and former AWU warhorse George Weatherill.

Jack Snelling: Elected to the SA Parliament in 1997, this baby-faced pillar of the Right gained notoriety as the least likely to turn up to Parliament in his first term. He became a father of two children during this time. Was a staffer in the SDA before becoming a staffer to Martyn Evans.

Lindsay Tanner: the Finance spokesman and Federal member for Melbourne has all the pedigree with law and arts degrees but still went off and spent 6 years as assistant secretary and secretary of the Federated Clerks’ Union in Victoria.

Carmel Tebbutt: out-going NSW Government Minister who previously worked for the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU).

Gay Thompson: Elected to the SA Parliament in 1997, Gay was a big wig in the ACOA before it merged into the PSU and then CPSU in the late 80s and early 90s.
Ian Trezise: Victorian MLA and former AWU official.

Joe Tripodi: Fairfield MP and Minister in the NSW Parliament and was a former TWU official who also worked for the NSW Labor Council.

Jay Weatherill: Elected to the SA Parliament in 2002 and the son George Weatherill who was nudged off his sinecure by Bob Sneath. Jay also worked between 87 and 90 in the AWU before going to the same legal firm that spawned Penny Wong.

Penny Wong: SA Senator who came to prominence as Young ALP delegate to State Conference years ago when one of the opposing factions warhorses (Ralph Clark) tried to make light of her comments in a debate and quipped “Two wongs don’t make a right”. Former elected Organiser and Industrial Officer with the CFMEU. She was the legal officer with the ALHMWU in South Australia and has been at the bar as a barrister.

Ian West: NSW Upper House MP who came came from the CFMEU.

Geoff Wilson: Member for Ferny Grove in the Queensland Parliament and a former CFMEU official.

Russell Wortley: MLC in the SA Parliament who worked for the Transport Workers Union.

Senator Dana Wortley: former journalist and representative for the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance. 

Michael Wright: South Australian MP who was with the AWU from the late 80s until the mid 90s.

Kim Yeadon: NSW MP who came out of Miscellaneous Workers Union and Electrical Trades union as an organiser and research officer.

UNSUCCESSFUL LABOR CANDIDATES AT THE 2004 FEDERAL ELECTION WHO HAD UNION BACKGROUNDS

Catryna Bilyk: Tasmanian Senate Candidate. Currently the Industrial and Training Officer for the Tas Branch of the Australian Services Union. Also Senior Vice President of the Tas Trades and Labour Council.

Michael Bjork-Billings: Labor’s candidate in Corangamite has a history with the National Tertiary Education Union.

David Bradbury: Labor’s 25-year-old candidate in Jacqui Kelly’s seat of Lindsay has packed a lot into his short career including a stint as an industrial officer for the Australian Services Union

Liam Costello: candidate in Pearce who was president of the Edith Cowan University student guild in Perth.

Trish Fowler: Labor’s sacrificial lamb in the blue ribbon WA seat of Curtin works within the Australian Nursing Federation.

Cheryl Dorron: the candidate in the very marginal seat of Hinkley and is an official with the Queensland Nurses union.

Wayne Finch: the Federal candidate for Peter Reith’s old seat of Flinders is naturally from the MUA.

Trish Fowler: Candidate for Curtin in WA and President of the Australian Nursing Federation in WA.

Andrew Macleod: the candidate in McEwen is a steward with the Liquor & Hospitality Union.

Jenny McAllister: Labor’s candidate in Richmond, the most marginal Liberal seat, is an organiser with the Community and Public Sector Union in their North Coast office.

John McShane: Candidate for Mitchell and a union official with the LHMWU since 1977.

Richard Morrow: the ALP candidate for Wannon (south west Victoria, held by Liberal David Hawker by 7.4 per cent) has a strong affiliation with the region’s Trades and Labour crew although strictly speaking he’s a compo lawyer with Portland firm Stringer Clark.

James Murphy: Labor candidate for Boothby in SA and currently employed with the rapidly declining Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.

Ted Murphy: Victorian senate candidate and a Victorian State Secretary of the NTEU, he is currently national Assistant Secretary of the union.

Conleth O’Neill: Candidate for Grey who worked for the Public Sector Association as a research officer for five years while studying law.

Russell Tremlin: Candidate for Wide Bay who was elected to the FEDFA (the Federation of Engine Drivers and Firemens Association) and is now with the CFMEU.

Frances Teirney: Candidate for North Sydney. She is deputy NSW president of the Australian Services Union, and has been president of the social and community services sector of the union for the past decade.

Joanna Woods: NSW Senate Candidate. Former NSW ETU industrial research officer and currently on maternity leave from employment as Communications Officer for the ALP (NSW Branch).

Kim Young: standing for seat of Moore in WA. Kim is currently the Assistant Secretary of the CFMEU WA branch and has the thuggish Kevin Reynolds as his boss.

Former union officials no longer in Parliament

Tom Barton: Queensland State Development minister who came out of the AMWU and the Labor Council as state secretary.

Sen Nick Bolkus: the South Australian Labor senator and former lawyer is claimed to have been an official with the Transport Workers Union Official in Victoria which sounds a bit odd.

Laurie Brereton: the fixer from the NSW Right was an official with both the ETU and the SDA in NSW which made his enterprise bargaining legislation in 1993 so much for confrontational for the union movement.

Clyde Cameron: Former AWU SA State secretary and SA/Federal ALP powerbroker. Was floor manager of the pro-Whitlam forces in the ALP National Executive meeting that re-organised the ultra-Left Victorian ALP. Whitlam’s Labour Minister until demoted by Whitlam to Science and Consumer Affairs. MHR for Hindmarsh 1949-80.

Terry Cameron: quit the SA ALP to vote to put up privatised electricity prices and started up his own political party called SA First which polled appallingly at the 2002 State Election. Now the prices have gone up, he has gone into hiding and calls himself an independent again. He worked for the AWU back in the early 80s before becoming State Organiser of the ALP but no one wants to own up to him anymore.

Bob Carr: the former NSW Premier was a journalist but he also did a stint at the NSW Labor Council.

Ralph Clarke: Former South Australian MP who was Secretary of the FCU in the mid 80s and with the ASU in the early 90s. He was once deputy SA opposition leader and failed as an Independent Labour candidate at the 2002 election after Democrat preferences went to the ALP. Labor dumped him following a domestic violence controversy, after which he took ALP to court over branch-stacking.

Peter Cook: the late Senator worked for the FCU in Adelaide and became the Secretary of the WA Trades and Labour Council, and vice-president of the ACTU. He was made a Minister in 1988 and a Cabinet Minister in 1990.

Trevor Crothers: Former South Australian MP not renowned for hard work who was a life member of the Missos and worked for them. Quit the ALP in the Upper House after voting with voting with Terry Cameron to pass the then Lib government’s privatisation of the state owned electricity company. He scored a credible 0.5% at the 2002 election to lose his seat before moving onto the Great Parliamentary Chamber in the Sky in later 2002.

Michael Egan: former NSW Treasurer and a former Federal Research Officer for the AMIEU for four years until 1973 before working for many years as a Labor adviser.

Senator Brenda Gibbs: worked for the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union and the Australian Journalists Association but was relegated to the unwinnable third spot on the Queensland ticket in the 2001 election.

Brian Harridine: former Tasmanian Independent Senator and long-time President of SDA Tassie Branch.

Bob Hawke: former Prime Minister and ACTU President.

Johnno Johnson: the former President of the NSW Legislative Council also worked for a union at one stage but not sure which one.

Michael Lee: former Labor Communications Minister, Engineer and somehow connected with Australian Services Union.

Andy Manson: the former NSW MLC came out of the CFMEU.

Jim McKiernan: the former West Australian senator was once an Education Officer with the AMWU.

Frank Mossfield: former federal Member for Greenway who did the full union career path before finally joining the big retirement house on the hill. After 15 years as a fitter and turner, Frank started as an official at the Australasian Society of Engineers before becoming branch secretary of the Australian Society of Engineers and then federal president. From here he became an executive member of the ACTU and then President of the NSW Labor Council.

Senator Shayne Murphy: was a member of the ALP until October 2001, when he got fed up with the Regional Forests Agreement. Had been the State Secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (formerly Australian Timber Workers’ Union, thus explaining, as it does with half the Tasmanian ALP, his forest policy).

Belinda Neal: the former NSW Senator was president of Sydney University’s SRC and, in 1986-87, project officer for the Federated Ironworkers Association.

Michelle O’Byrne: former Federal member for the marginal Tasmanian seat of Bass and a former organiser for the Miscellaneous Workers Union.

Neil O’Keefe: the recently retired member for Burke started out as teacher before becoming a union official and after 17 years in the Parliament he’s off with a wonderful indexed pension for life.

Robert Poole: former Queensland MLA for the seat of Gaven (elected in March 2001) was formerly a Organiser and Workplace Health and Safety Officer for Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union. However, LHMWU disowned him after he defected from the Left to the Old Guard 2 days after getting elected. Very cosy relationship with Westfield.

John Scott: former Federal member for Hindmarsh who got the gig after being SA state secretary for the AMWU.

Pat Staunton: the former NSW MLC (now a magistrate) was President of NSW Nurses Union.

Barrie Unsworth: the former NSW Premier and cardigan wearer was a former Secretary of the NSW Labor Council.

Greg Wilton (deceased): From NUW to Federal MP for Isaacs

Mick Young: Hawke Minister and former AWU organiser.

All corrections and additions to smayne@crikey.com.au.

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