Answers to this man
As did this former Prime Minister
In the wealth creating elements of our economy, just 12% of workers belong to a trade union. Yet in our parliaments, 100% of ALP members belong to a trade union.
A tiny proportion of Australians belong to the Australian Workers' Union. Yet it by dint of numbers controls the Australian Labor Party.
When Bill Shorten was the minister responsible for industrial relations - that is the way that workers and the owners of companies get along - he was proudly partisan. He took one side and one side only. And he did that at the behest of the boss of the AWU, Bill Ludwig.
Here is the former minister Bill Shorten, speaking officially as the Minister at the time, in an address to the AWU's conference just over one year ago.
I am very proud to carry in the Parliament of Australia every day, my union membership card. You give me immense pride. I am what I am because of you.
I am, and indeed the Labor Party is, what it is when it’s at its best, when we remember where we come from, and remember what get us up in the morning every day and drives us every day until we finish work every evening. It’s the Labor movement values which make, I believe, the Labor Party the preeminent political force in Australia.
Now I respect your leadership. Frankly I’m blown away by how Paul Howes and Bill Ludwig have taken this union from strength to strength in recent years. It’s a remarkable accomplishment. You’re whole national organisation – the state branches all deserve recognition. You do good things, and you’ve got to keep believing in yourselves and the good things you do.
I am happy to hold up my union card, because I know there’ll be some anonymous editorial writers in some of the right-wing media who will say: how terrible it is that a minister would hold up his union card. Well you know what, I am pro union. I am not embarrassed to use the word union. Unions have contributed much more good in this country than any other institution in Australian democracy outside of the Parliament of Australia.
So I say again, and I declare, I am pro union.