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Union royal commission claims few scalps thus far

The Coalition has said it will shine a light into the dark and dirty underbelly of organised labour. The unions say it’s a Labor witch-hunt. Freelance journalist Andrei Ghoukassian reports on the story so far.

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Rundle: Ricky Muir, a closet lefty unionist in revhead clothing

Tony Abbott hoped he’d be able to beguile the oddball crossbenchers in the Senate, but revelations about Ricky Muir’s unionist past could prove a sticking point.

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It’s OK, we’ve already got a royal commission into super…

Actually, there is a royal commission underway into superannuation — except it’s part of the government’s anti-union witch-hunt.

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With unemployment so high, do we need 457s?

Crikey readers talk 457 visas, giraffes, Stephen Conroy’s real similarity to Stalin and the real inventor of the smiley face.

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$600b in voting rights wasted, now unions rally on super funds

The local labour movement is becoming increasingly bullish about how its members’ superannuation money is invested. What happens if more unions start putting their money where their mouths are?

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Super fund takes Rupert’s advice, sells out of News Corp

A prominent industry super fund has had enough with News Corporation and is selling its stock. It’s a symbolic blow that could spark a wave of so-called ethical investment decisions.

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Why Shorten must win the Grocon battle

The CFMEU tactics are a bald play for power ahead of a potential Abbott government. If they win, it’s back to the “rust belt” 1980s. Rob Burgess of Business Spectator looks at the state of play.

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Deep in the heart of Texas with the Business Council

A new BCA report on poor productivity in Australia appears to be aimed at increasing the use of immigrant labour. It is, as John Cleese might say, “wafer thin”.

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Bitter resentment remains at abolition of ABCC

The Australian Building and Construction Commission has been abolished, writes Ava Hubble, a freelance journalist.

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CFMEU out of the WA Labor cold, state conference to decide

WA branch of the CFMEU appears to have succeeded in its botched bid to re-affiliate with Labor, after an emergency meeting of the ALP’s administrative committee referred the decision to state conference.

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$80k pay day for Labor as CFMEU rejoins WA fold

The West Australian branch of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union is poised to re-affiliate with the Labor Party in that state, injecting up to $80,000 a year into ALP coffers and burying once and for all a bitter 2007 spat with foreign minister Kevin Rudd.

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CFMEU boss reads The RiotAct and then sues over news story

CFMEU ACT Branch Secretary Dean Hall is suing independent website The RiotAct in the ACT Supreme Court over a news story he says falsely accused him of assault.

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Xstrata, competition and a new form of xenophobia

Mining multinational Xstrata refused to cooperate with Treasury over complaints that it engaged in anti-competitive behaviour. The reason? “Xenophobia”.

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McGuire Supreme Court challenge could expose Broady branch stacks

This morning’s backing by CFMEU overlord Bill Oliver of a Supreme Court challenge to block the ALP National Executive’s parachuting of Frank McGuire into John Brumby’s seat of Broadmeadows is almost certain to founder and will instead shine a light on the electorate’s notorious history of branch stacking, party insiders say.

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The BER outcome: time to correct the record

The latest report on the BER program again demolishes the campaign waged against it by the media.

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Socialist sets up Vic election battle for Richmond

Left-wing Victorian trade unions have rallied behind veteran socialist campaigner Stephen Jolly’s bid for the state seat of Richmond, setting up a battle with the Greens and potentially shoring up the reign of teetering Brumby government minister Richard Wynne.

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Tribe trial may prompt new debate on erosion of union power

With Ark Tribe’s trial imminent, CFMEU national president Dave Noonan has warned that “if Ark goes in, we go out”, writes Ava Hubble.

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Construction industry case driving a wedge between the ALP and unions

A SA construction industry court case exposes controversial legislation that has driven a wedge between the ALP and its union supporters. Ava Hubble reports.

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When is a car bomb not worthy of condemnation? When the target is the CFMEU

The reason a terrorist-style attack on its NSW headquarters can be ignored is because the union represents a danger to the political and media elites, writes a former CFMEU insider.

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When dead workers weren’t quite so important

Thank goodness the press gallery is now focused on ministerial responsibility for workplace safety. It wasn’t always that way.

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Southern hemisphere: so hot right now

Figures just released show that 2009 was the warmest year on record for the southern hemisphere, troubles at the Canberra branch of the CFMEU and other politics tidbits.

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Fake contractors gouging our tax base: unions

Australia is facing an ongoing drain on tax revenue as a result of the failure of the Howard Government’s attempts to prevent “bogus contracting” from undermining the tax base.

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ACTU bites its tongue, retreats to attic

What trade-off has the ACTU received for biting its tongue about the building industry? So far, just some half hearted words of encouragement about ‘buying Australian’.

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Why the building industry needs a history lesson

It’s hard to think of a major figure from Australian trade union history who wouldn’t fall foul of the current building industry code, writes Jeff Sparrow.

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Gillard’s ACTU spray a centrist triumph

Julia Gillard’s speech at the ACTU Congress yesterday a display of raw executive power, writes Bernard Keane.

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