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TWU WA bosses McGiveron and Burton get piddling fines over purchasing $150K Ford F350s for themselves

Remember the TWU's Ford F350 lovin' Richard Burton and Jim McGiveron?

The Federal Court has just fined Mr McGiveron $11,000 and Mr Burton $27,300 for repeated breaches of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act.

According to orders made by Justice Michael Barker, In 2012, James McGiveron, then branch secretary, authorised the purchase of two F350 Ford pickup trucks costing $137,000 each, for Mr Burton and himself.

He did not have authority to authorise such a purchase, and admitted to the Fair Work Tribunal last year he knew he would likely receive one of the vehicles for personal use.

Mr Burton then authorised the purchase of add-ons for the two vehicles which brought their cost up to more than $300,000 total. The union's branch committee which acted in an oversight role was not notified of the purchase.

And thanks to Gillard and her IR laws, the fine for that is a pissant few grand.

These boys shopped for their cars here.

Barbagallo Motors - where cashed up trade union officials spend other people's money

I'm sure that Barbagallo Motors is a wonderful business - up there with the best of the best.   Why else would Rolls Royce and other marquis brands trust their reputations to Barbagallo.

It's because Barbagallo is up there with the best that self-respecting senior trade union official demand the Barbagallo customer experience.

And what an experience it is.   Here's the place His Humility James McGiveron and Richard (no Liz) Burton shop when their prestige motor vehicle itch needs a scratch.

 

And here are the Federal Court orders.

 

 

 

ORDERS

 
WAD 363 of 2016
BETWEEN: GENERAL MANAGER OF THE FAIR WORK COMMISSION
Applicant
AND: JAMES MCGIVERON
First Respondent

RICHARD BURTON
Second Respondent
  TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION OF AUSTRALIA
Intervener
JUDGE: BARKER J
DATE OF ORDER: 21 APRIL 2017



THE COURT ORDERS THAT:

The First Respondent

  1. Subject to Order 3 below, each penalty set out in the third column in the table in Schedule A to these orders be imposed on the first respondent in respect of the conduct correspondingly set out in the second column, being a contravention of the provision of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (Cth), correspondingly set out in the fourth column in the table.
  2. To the extent that Order 1 relates to a contravention numbered by an Arabic numeral in the first column in the table in Schedule A, the operation of that order be stayed for 60 days.
  3. To the extent that Order 1 relates to a contravention numbered by a Roman numeral in the first column in the table in Schedule A, the operation of that order be stayed for 74 days.
  4. Upon the payment, within 74 days, of the penalty for a contravention numbered by an Arabic numeral in the first column in the table in Schedule A, the operation of Order 1 be permanently stayed to the extent that it relates to the contravention or contraventions numbered by the Roman numeral or numerals of the same value in that column.

The Second Respondent

  1. Subject to Order 7 below, each penalty set out in the third column in the table in Schedule B to these orders be imposed on the second respondent in respect of the conduct correspondingly set out in the second column in the table, being a contravention of the provision of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (Cth), correspondingly set out in the fourth column in the table.
  2. To the extent that Order 5 relates to a contravention numbered by an Arabic numeral in the first column in the table in Schedule B, the operation of that order be stayed for 60 days.
  3. To the extent that Order 5 relates to a contravention numbered by a Roman numeral in the first column in the table in Schedule B, the operation of that order be stayed for 74 days.
  4. Upon the payment, within 74 days, of the penalty for a contravention numbered by an Arabic numeral in the first column in the table in Schedule B, the operation of Order 5 be permanently stayed to the extent that it relates to the contravention or contraventions numbered by the Roman numeral or numerals of the same value in that column.

The First and Second Respondent

  1. Pursuant to s 357(2) of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (Cth), the pecuniary penalties be paid to the Commonwealth.
Note: Entry of orders is dealt with in Rule 39.32 of the Federal Court Rules 2011.

Schedule A
1
2
3
4
No.
Conduct
Penalty Provision
1
Mr McGiveron’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU on or about 24 July 2012 by executing contracts to purchase two F350s and causing the TWU to pay deposits in the amount of $40,000 for each of the F350s, that exercise of powers and discharge of duties having been done neither in good faith in what Mr McGiveron believed were the best interests of the TWU, nor for a proper purpose.
$6,000
s 286(1)
(i) Mr McGiveron’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU on or about 24 July 2012, by failing to do so with the degree of care and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise in the circumstances, in that Mr McGiveron executed contracts to purchase the F350s and caused the TWU to pay deposits in the amount of $40,000 for each of the F350s.
$5,000
s 285(1)
2
Mr McGiveron’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU in or about July 2012, in relation to the adoption of a redundancy policy by the WA Branch of the TWU, that exercise of powers and discharge of duties having been done neither in good faith in what Mr McGiveron believed were the best interests of the TWU, nor for a proper purpose.
$5,000
s 286(1)
Schedule B
1
2
3
4
No.
Conduct
Penalty Provision
1
Mr Burton’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU on or about 26 March 2013 in purporting to act on behalf of the TWU in executing further contracts to purchase two F350s and on 2 April 2012 by causing a payment to be made from WA Branch funds of approximately $228,500 with respect to the F350s, that exercise of powers and discharge of duties having been done neither in good faith in what Mr Burton believed were the best interests of the TWU, nor for a proper purpose.
$9,000
s 286(1)
(i) Mr Burton’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU, by failing to do so with the degree of care and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise in the circumstances, in that on or about 26 March 2013 Mr Burton purported to act on behalf of the TWU in executing further contracts to purchase the F350s and on 2 April 2013 he caused a payment to be made from WA Branch funds of approximately $228,500 with respect to the F350s.
$6,500
s 285(1)
2
Mr Burton’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as Branch Secretary or Acting Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU between October 2012 and February 2014 in failing to disclose the purchase of the F350s to the WA BCOM, the relevant WA Branch Finance Committee and/or the WA Branch auditors, that exercise of powers and discharge of duties having been done neither in good faith in what Mr Burton believed were the best interests of the TWU, nor for a proper purpose.
$9,000
s 286(1)
(ii) Mr Burton’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as Branch Secretary or Acting Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU between October 2012 and February 2014, by failing to do so with the degree of care and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise in the circumstances, in that Mr Burton failed to disclose the purchase of the F350s to the WA BCOM, the relevant WA Branch Finance Committee and/or the WA Branch auditors.
$6,500
s 285(1)
3 Mr Burton’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as Branch Secretary or Acting Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU in July 2013 in causing the TWU to transfer to Mr McGiveron from WA Branch funds the amount of $348,396.15 (gross) with respect to Mr McGiveron’s redundancy, that exercise of powers and discharge of duties having been done neither in good faith in what Mr Burton believed were the best interests of the TWU, nor for a proper purpose.
$6,000
s 286(1)
(iii)
Mr Burton’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as
Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU in July 2013, in failing to do so with the degree of care and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise in the circumstances, in that Mr Burton caused the TWU to transfer to Mr McGiveron from WA Branch funds the amount of $348,396.15 (gross) with respect to Mr McGiveron’s redundancy.
$3,000
s 285(1)
4 Mr Burton’s improper use of his position as Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU to gain an advantage for himself, gain an advantage for others and to cause detriment to the TWU, by, in May 2013 by incurring an expense of $486.90 from the Rockpool Bar and Grill in Perth and causing this to be paid by the TWU from WA Branch funds.
$650
s 287(1)
(iv)
Mr Burton’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as
Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU in May 2013 in incurring an expense of $486.90 from the Rockpool Bar and Grill in Perth and causing this to be paid by the TWU from WA Branch funds, that exercise of powers and discharge of duties having been done neither in good faith in what Mr Burton believed were the best interests of the TWU, nor for a proper purpose.
$650
s 286(1)
(iv)
Mr Burton’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as
Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU in May 2013, by failing to do so with the degree of care and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise in the circumstances, in that Mr Burton incurred an expense of $486.90 from the Rockpool Bar and Grill in Perth and caused this to be paid by the TWU from WA Branch funds.
$650
s 285(1)
5 Mr Burton’s improper use of his position as Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU to gain an advantage for himself and to cause detriment to that union, by, in September 2013, incurring an expense of $535.76 with respect to the hire of a vehicle and causing this to be paid by the TWU from WA Branch funds.
$1,650
s 287(1)
(v)
Mr Burton’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as
Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU in September 2013 in incurring an expense of $535.76 with respect to the hire of a vehicle and causing this to be paid by the TWU from WA Branch funds, that exercise of powers and discharge of duties having been done neither in good faith in what Mr Burton believed were the best interests of the TWU, nor for a proper purpose.
$1,650
s 286(1)
(v)
Mr Burton’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as
Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU in May 2013, by failing to do so with the degree of care and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise in the circumstances, in that Mr Burton incurred an expense of $535.76 with respect to the hire of a vehicle and caused this to be paid by the TWU from WA Branch funds.
$1,650
s 285(1)
6 Mr Burton’s improper use of his position as Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU to gain an advantage for himself, gain an advantage for others and to cause detriment to that union, by, in September 2013, incurring an expense of $1,634.44 with respect to a function at the WAFL Grand Final and causing this to be paid by the TWU from WA Branch funds.
$1,000
s 287(1)
(vi)
Mr Burton’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as
Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU in September 2013 in incurring an expense of $1,634.44 with respect to a function at the WAFL Grand Final and causing this to be paid by the TWU from WA Branch funds, that exercise of powers and discharge of duties having been done neither in good faith in what Mr Burton believed were the best interests of the TWU, nor for a proper purpose.
$1,000
s 286(1)
(vi)
Mr Burton’s exercise of his powers and discharge of his duties as
Branch Secretary of the WA Branch of the TWU in May 2013, by failing to do so with the degree of care and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise in the circumstances, in that Mr Burton incurred an expense of $1,634.44 with respect to a function at the WAFL Grand Final and causing this to be paid by the TWU from WA Branch funds.
$1,000
s 285(1)

 

Here are some memories of the farce as it was laid out at the TURC.

After some legal argument, the F350 luving Mr James McGiveron was called to the witness box at 10.22.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.21.31 am

Mr McGiveron swore his oath on the bible.

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Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.25.49 am

Mr McGiveron agrees with Mr Scruby that he directed Mr Aslan to type up a redundancy policy, including its contents.

Mr Scruby asked Mr McGiveron if he had only come up with a particular document in the past 12 months in order to answer criticisms of the redundancy/car purchases.   Mr McGiveron answered, "For the past 12 months I've been in bits mate".   Mr Scruby did not follow up on the intriguing statement.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.55.30 am

Mr McGiveron was the boss of the TWU WA Branch.   He now says he had nothing to do with putting the redundancy provisions that he would benefit from together.   It must simply be a  coincidence that the unusually generous redundancy provisions that included allowances like a $9,000 meal allowance and a substantial car allowance (which was interesting given the fully maintained union vehicle, upgraded to the notorious Ford F350).   Mr McGiveron agrees that he participated in passing the resolution that approved the redundancy.   He had no idea that any resolution he passed or monies he approved would result in him obtaining a Ford F350.

He agrees that he sold the Ford F350 - he's been shown a copy of a letter he wrote to the branch after the sale. 

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 9.01.17 am

In the letter Mr McGiveron states that he "wishes" to return the proceeds of the sale to the branch.   This is no doubt in the "post getting sprung" phase.  He said in the letter that "the cost was playing on his mind".   He stated that he was "humbled" that the union thought so highly of him as to gift him a vehicle, but on later consideration he thought it was a bit costly, so he sold it, and gave the money back.   Nothing at all to do with getting sprung pulling a swifty.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 9.04.24 am

When the transcript arrives, do a word check on "humbled".   Mr McGiveron has been doing a lot of  "humbling" he loves to humble.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 9.08.21 am

Mr McGiveron states that "it could happen either way" in relation to approval for the purchase of a motor car - it could be approved before or after.  Doesn't matter.   The Commissioner intervened to make sure this piece of incredible bullshit was accurately recorded by the Commissioner - and McGiveron confirmed that was precisely what he meant.   He could just go and buy a vehicle if he wanted and then get approval to purchase after purchase.   

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 9.16.23 am

Mr McGiveron is in quite a bit of bother.   "I wanted the purchase of the vehicles to be on Burton's watch".   Even though he'd used TWU money to pay the deposit on the two vehicles, even though in the departure agreement he'd get to keep his TWU vehicle.   And he wanted a new one - a very expensive new one.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 9.18.28 am

McGiveron doesn't accept that he was putting his own interests ahead of the members interests when he bought the two Ford F350s.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 9.22.19 am

 The Commissioner is sadly (for Mr McGiveron) bringing logic from the real world to Mr McGiveron's bullshit story from the bullshit world.   Mr McGiveron looks very uncomfortable.   It is very sad to watch a grown man in these circumstances, he is sticking with his story, it's rather sad.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 9.24.31 am

Mr McGiveron is still streaming fantasy from his parallel universe.   He now reckons he had no idea that he would be the beneficiary of the generous redundancy scheme he had instructed Mr Aslan to type up.   He had no idea that the union might be able to get along without the "special projects officer" position he had engineered for himself as he was leaving the secretary position.   He should check out the corporate world more often - "special projects" indeed.

AT 11.30 THE COMMISSION ADJOURNED FOR A SPOT OF TEA AND TIM TAMS

AT 11.47 THE COMMISSION RESUMED

After the parade of two minutes witnesses, the Commissioner has just let us know that he is concerned that anyone should be flown over from Perth for a short time in the witness box.   The Commission is now hearing legal argument in relation to a witness statement and whether or not a particular witness should get on the plane in Perth or not.

Mr Scruby is now (Browne v Dunn) putting those matters which he will later allege constitute various offences to Mr McGiveron - that he knew he'd get the redundancy, that he' be the beneficiary of the redundancy program he designed, that he preferred and pursued his own interests to the detriment of the members etc.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 9.50.53 am

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 9.56.26 am

 Mr McGiveron has now resorted to the "I'm insulted by your question" routine.

(It was a tried and true technique of the Sydney CIB to deliver a similar sentiment to the owners of fine Chinese dineries, "thank you for that superb meal, your chef and sommelier's skills were of such high order that we couldn't possibly insult you by offering to pay".)

Mr Scruby has put to Mr McGiveron that McGiveron didn't actually do any work as "special projects officer".   "I did".   "Well where is that in your statement".   "It's not there, it's just a brief statement".

McGiveron has gone on to state that he was doing various worky things like "gearing himself up" and familiarising himself and stuff like that.   And that was work.   It was planning to do some work, but the actual work he was going to do was never put into effect because "we were expecting 6 and a half thousand jobs in Broome but they never happened".   No his fault.  But he was doing work - which he now says included "gathering information".   Probably by yarning at the pub.

Now talking about being honoured to be President of the union (refer to humbled as well).

It might be nice if this matter was put to Mr McGiveron:

Slush fund money helped fund TWU official's campaign, Ralph Blewitt tells royal commission 

Money from a secret ''slush fund'' controlled by two former officials from the Australian Workers Union was used to help fund an election campaign for an official from the Transport Workers Union, the royal commission on trade unions has heard.

Former Australian Workers Union official Ralph Blewitt, who has confessed to fraud, told the commission on Tuesday he withdrew about $5000 from the slush fund in 1994. He said he gave it to former TWU national president and WA branch secretary Jim McGiveron in a brown paper bag at a cafe in the Perth suburb of Northbridge to help fund his election campaign. Mr McGiveron has reportedly dismissed the claim as false.

He alleged he was acting under instructions from his former AWU colleague Bruce Wilson when he gave the money to a member from the Transport Workers Union in Western Australia in a Perth cafe.

The commission was told Mr Blewitt continued to control cash withdrawals from the secret fund and receive bank statements long after his resignation from the Australian Workers Union.

There is no need for the Commission to hear further evidence from Mr McGiveron - it's all set out by the TWU in this press release.

Jim McGiveron stands down as WA secretary

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Jim McGiveron stands down as WA secretary

Jim McGiveron has done a mighty job for our union but he’s decided it’s time for a change of leadership After 18 successful years at the helm of the WA Branch of the Transport Workers Union Jim McGiveron will stand down as Branch Secretary on December 31.

Jim has been a full-time official of the union for 28 years after joining the union as a full-time organiser back in 1984. Prior to that he had been our convenor on BHP’s Mount Whaleback mine at Newman. Jim has done a mighty job for our union but has decided it is time for a change of leadership.

The union’s Branch Committee of Management has appointed current assistant secretary Rick Burton as Jim’s replacement. Paul Aslan will become Branch Assistant secretary.

Jim will continue in his role as the current TWU national president and will stay with the union for a period as a Special Projects Officer. His new responsibilities will include promoting and growing the TWU’s national interests in the oil and gas industry throughout Australia. His background and vast union experience will prove invaluable in this area.

When Jim McGiveron first took over the WA Branch in 1994 it was struggling financially and losing members. It is now in top financial shape and the union’s membership has grown in 16 of the 18 years he has been at the helm.

A recent audit of the Branch’s books shows we now have 10,076 fully financial members.
Strong membership density creates strength in the workplace and the Branch has also scored highly on the wages and conditions front.

Wages campaigns under Jim’s leadership have consistently delivered pay rises for members that are significantly higher than the rate of inflation.

The success of the Branch over almost two decades has come at a time when other unions have lost members.

Increasingly restrictive industrial laws such as John Howard’s Workchoices have made it a lot tougher for unions to organise and use industrial muscle to further work-related causes. Gone are the days when you could just walk off the job demanding a pay rise or the reinstatement of an unfairly sacked workmate.

These days’ huge financial penalties can be, and are, imposed on unions and workers who overstep the mark.

Soon after he became branch secretary, Jim McGiveron warned a large meeting of TWU members that the playing field was rapidly changing. And if the union was to survive we would have to adapt or die.
Throughout his leadership the union has adapted and today the WA Branch is a very well administered, modern and progressive organisation with a high priority on service to members.

As Jim McGiveron prepares to hand over the reins he can look back with pride on a record that includes many great achievements for members.

His stated aim after taking over the job in 1993 was to leave the Branch in better shape than he found it. He has certainly far exceeded that objective.

 AT 1PM THE COMMISSION ADJOURNED FOR SMOKED SALMON, CAPERS AND ONION

AT 2PM THE COMMISSION RESUMED THE TORTURE

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 12.10.32 pm

Mr McGiveron said that he thought the F350 was a union car, bought for the union and for the use of the union.   He denied that he was going to get the car.

He said he didn't know it was purchased and registered in his own name.   Knew nothing about it.

PAUSE FOR SUSPENSE

"May I show you a document".   Counsel assisting produced the rego papers.   In McGiveron's name.  And signed by McGiveron.   Registering the car in his own personal name.

"Do you wish to give an explanation for why it's got your name on it?'

"I don't recall this document."

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"Do you accept that it was inappropriate for the vehicle to be registered in your name?"

"Yes".

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 Mr McGiveron is now waffling a lot.   About why he had a work car and also got a car allowance.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 12.22.27 pm

At 2.30PM Mr Scruby concluded his examination of Mr McGiveron.

Mr McGiveron's counsel is now examining him.   His first best shot is the sympathy vote - how many years of service did you give to the union?

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THE COMMISSION ADJOURNED SHORTLY THEREAFTER.

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