Peter Gordon outlined the Slater and Gordon protocol in 1997 - use the media to push a legal case.
Craig Thomson is back in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court today - in company with a brothel owner. Again.

Bruce Wilson's jobs and protected positions

The more you look at Bruce Wilson and Bill Ludwig, the closer their interests intertwine.

We've previously posted the Resolution the AWU's National Executive made under Bill's presidency to look after Bruce with a job, car, pay and roving brief when he dipped out on the National Secretary election in 1989.

Bruce wilson appointment in wa justice einfeld - payoff allegation_002

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Just as an observation - I have never encountered any industry or group that races off to lawyers and the courts with such alacrity as do union officials!   Every dispute ends up in court.

This matter deals with an inquiry into Ralph Blewitt's election as an organiser in WA in 1989.   It contains a lot of historical and family data.

I've printed the front page of this next case - the dates really jump out!   This was a WA matter involving an appeal by Glen Ivory against the election of Joe Isherwood to the position of WA Branch President.   Glen Ivory was Bruce Wilson's man and the whole judgement is fascinating reading, a real insight into AWU machinations.

Bruce wilson in mnelbourne3 for isherwood

(19 March 1993 was the Friday before settlement of the Kerr Street property in Melbourne.   This matter was listed and heard in the Perth Registry but judgement was handed down in Melbourne, given the extent of Wilson's involvement in the application it's a fair bet his lawyer and he were at the court to hear whether Glen Ivory got up or not.   Not to spoil the ending, but he didn't!)

In May 1991 Wilson was appointed Branch Secretary in WA.

On 29 June 1992 Wilson was appointed Branch Secretary in Victoria.  

Wilson victoria secretary

Download Angelo palma queries bruce wilson appointment victoria - judge gray joshua bornstein associate

While Julia Gillard acted for Wilson in the Palma matter, Bill Ludwig clearly wanted to maintain involvement and control of the legal case.   Bruce Wilson travelled to Brisbane where his affidavit material was completed and sworn.

This post contains much of the "shit sheet" material that was circulating in the AWU at the time regarding allegations of misused bank accounts, fraud and the like.

In April 1994 Bill Ludwig was doing the numbers to shore up his control over the AWU in light of the FIME merger.

The Sydney Morning Herald


Author: By MATTHEW RUSSELL Industrial Writer
Date: 22/04/1994
Words: 522
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: News and Features
Page: 13
A vote yesterday by the national executive of Australia's biggest right-wing union may consolidate control in the hands of a powerful Queensland official, Mr Bill Ludwig.

Mr Ludwig, the Queensland secretary and Federal president of the Australian Workers' Union, is one of the most influential union leaders in Australia.

He said the proposal to merge the Queensland and West Australian branches of the AWU was merely an administrative measure to formalise an existing arrangement between them. The merger would be dissolved after elections next year, he said.

However, the branch merger proposal was really a way of entrenching Mr Ludwig's national control, according to opponents from sections of the Victorian branch of Mr Ludwig's union and from the Federation of Industrial Manufacturing and Engineering Employees (FIMEE) - which is amalgamating with the AWU.

Opponents of the merger proposal have also alleged financial mismanagement and enormous debts in the Victorian and West Australian AWU branches, and say the problems will not be solved by a merger.

A ballot on merging the AWU's Victorian and West Australian branches was held yesterday by the joint AWU-FIMEE executive. The result will be announced on Tuesday.

Merging the Victorian and West Australian branches of the AWU would install the Victorian branch secretary, Mr Bruce Wilson, as secretary of the AWU in both States.

Mr Wilson is a Ludwig supporter and could guarantee a block of votes to shore up Mr Ludwig's Federal leadership of the AWU.

If the merger proposal succeeded, the union would face court challenges from the Port Kembla branch and estranged Victorian unionists.

The Victorian branch of the FIMEE, in particular, is understood to bitterly oppose a merger.

The FIMEE's Victorian secretary, Mr Bob Smith, has sent an anti-merger letter to the AWU-FIMEE national executive in which he says Mr Wilson should not hold office simultaneously in two branches.

Mr Wilson came from Western Australia and still influences his union's decisions there.

Union sources said there was a strong likelihood that Mr Wilson would not win an election in either State branch, but it is understood that Mr Ludwig urged Mr Wilson to stand and needs his support for national control of the AWU. Union sources said the merger would give Mr Wilson breathing space to canvass support in both State branches before deciding which one he would stand for.

The AWU was meant to hold elections two years ago but its amalgamation with the FIMEE has delayed them until next year.

Ultimately, Wilson was given a brand new job with a roving, national (except Queensland) brief - Secretary of the AWU National Construction Branch.

If you were wondering how a construction branch head came to be dealing with Woodside, Esso et al - read on for the areas covered by the AWU's definition of Bruce-Wilson-friendly "construction".

Bill had Queensland sorted so there was no "value" for Bruce to add up there.   But this rule change did give Bruce a free hand to deal with some very lucrative slush fund contributors and he didn't waste any time getting stuck in.

National construction branch

Awu rules 1995_060

National construction branch 2