Nov 5, 2012

Qantas spinner and the union chief: conflict of interest?

Media, politics and business tongues are wagging after an intriguing new couple stepped out on the town. But is the partnership of Qantas' Olivia Wirth and AWU boss Paul Howes a conflict?

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

The head of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, Steve Purvinas, has called on Qantas PR boss Olivia Wirth to resign after it was was revealed she was dating Australian Workers Union chief Paul Howes.

“Olivia should be resigning as the media spokesperson for Qantas. She’s got a conflict of interest,” said Purvinas, who until last month was involved in a defamation battle with the media savvy union leader stemming from a bitter demarcation dispute.

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5 thoughts on “Qantas spinner and the union chief: conflict of interest?

  1. klewso

    How many of these “politicians” haven’t got their “neck over the fence”?

  2. Eric Kent

    You missed another Aston connection. Wirth’s last outing was a more discreet affair. But quite close to where now Aston works.

  3. John Bennetts

    We have all heard of the Industrial Relations Club – that group of representatives of employers and employees, as well as the lawyers on all sides and the industrial judges and their miscellaneous hangers-on.

    This hints at an Industrious Relations Club: industriously pursuing relations of an interpersonal nature.

    Besides which, Paul Howes never did come across as being the trustworthy type – too wrapped up in himself and his own wet-behind-the-ears opinions. Given that he hasn’t kept his political ambitions secret, this turn of events can hardly be a sign of imminent political elevation.

    All in all, a nice little yarn for a quiet afternoon, Andrew.

  4. Sanjay

    It must be time the Fair Work Act was got rid of. Even the PM must see the folly of giving the unions so much power, Then again she owes her job to the Sussex St yobs.

  5. Bird Kenneth

    Why should it be just Olivia Wirth who’s being asked to resign, because of a suggested conflict of interest? Doesn’t Paul Howes have an opposite conflict of interest? Why isn’t it being suggested that he resign?

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