Why don't unions pay tax? Why do unions have monopoly rights to provide services that members are forced to pay for? Why do unions get government grants? Why do union officials enjoy protections that company directors don't?
And when will the Federal Government do something about the rorts?
You might find Grace Collier's column in The Australian newspaper today interesting. I did.
No unions pay tax. None whatsoever, and never have. All unions receive significant government grants to carry out their work. They all live in a tax-free, loosely regulated bubble. The rest of us can only dream of such a blessed existence.
There are a few key differences between the employee unions and the employer unions.
The employee unions are much more effective. Their people are more cunning, tougher, braver, stronger and far better organised. When employee union people tire of the game, they have their own political party, the ALP, as well as an entire industry superannuation sector, in which to seek a job.
If they can't get a safe seat or a job on a super fund, they know the ALP will look after them with some other appointment somewhere. This means they don't have daily work worries over silly things like always obeying the law and being nice to the employers they deal with. They know as long as they are a faithful union warrior, they will always be looked after.
The people in the employer unions, when they tire of the game, don't have any guaranteed future career. They hope to be "looked after" by the Coalition, but know they are unlikely to be. The Coalition doesn't look after its friends very well at all, which is - I suppose - why it has far fewer friends than the ALP does. This means employer union people have to safeguard their future by doing a lot of sucking up to the people in the ALP and employee unions at the same time they are supposed to be opposing them. This makes them rubbish at their job.
When you work for an employer union, you can't run around kicking unions out of workplaces or winning against them or anything crazy like that. It doesn't matter if your member (business client) is virtually bankrupt and needs you to, if you do things like that, your career is over.
So what employer union people have to do is justify their hopeless performance by convincing their members that the legislation is so slanted against them that giving in to the unions is the only lawful option.
Employee unions pay their leaders much less than the employer unions do. The community is horrified if a union leader earns $500,000 but wouldn't blink to hear that an employer union leader earns the same or much more.
Despite this, employee unions never complain about employer unions. Employee union people think of employer union people the way you and I think of pets. Employer union people think of employee union people the way you and I think of a gang of muggers.
Employee union people always make sure they appoint employer union people to the boards of their superannuation funds. This throws them a bone and guarantees that when the Liberals get in, they are less motivated to properly reform the sector.
The AI Group holds a privileged position in our country. Its financials for the year ending June 30, 2012, show tax exempt revenue of $78,182,988. Employee costs of $58,727,554 for an estimated 350 staff show an average spend of $167,793 a person. The AI Group has net assets of $59,564,648.
An employee union in the manufacturing sector, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, also has a healthy set of books. Its report for the year ending September 30, 2012, shows tax-exempt income of $54,350,676, including $11,844,175 of income from other ventures. The AMWU has net assets of $102,500,297.
Read more at The Australian.