Paul "we've got your back PM" Howes says corrupt union officials are traitors. And heaps worse if they get caught..
Those found to be corrupt are traitors to the movement. P Howes, Canberra, 5 February 2014. That descriptor again - "found to be" corrupt. Are those who don't get found heroes?
Here's Paul Howes today.
Mr Howes opened his address with an attack on rogue unionists, following allegations of corruption in the construction sector.
He said those found to be corrupt were "traitors'' to the movement.
"It is my job and the job of every union leader to cut that cancer out,'' he said.
"We must never confuse strength with thuggery. Being a strong unionist is not about how many bikies you know.''
Here's what Paul Howes said last year when we needed a fighting PM like Julia Gillard.
"We support her because we want someone who's leading this nation who's prepared to make the tough calls, the hard decisions, and to cop the flak," Mr Howes told delegates at the AWU national conference on the Gold Coast today.
"Someone who's prepared to stand up to the shock jocks and billionaires and the media barons. Someone who'll fight and scrape to do the right thing for this nation.
"Like the Prime Minister, we stand up for what we believe in and we don't back down. And I'm proud to lead a union that backs her 110 per cent."
But fighting and scraping and being tough and not backing down are so last year.
Here's Principles Paul in action today.
Rather than "bullying from the sideline'', the government should take a step back to encourage harmonious engagement, Hr Howes said.
He also acknowledged that Labor's Fair Work Act did not represent a genuine consensus, and was itself a product of the "seesaw'' of legislative change.
Mr Howes said there had been a pattern of over-the-odds wages growth in isolated areas of the economy including "leapfrog'' outcomes in the offshore sector.
"We could be pricing ourselves out of the market,'' he said.
What happened to a PM who was noteworthy for fighting and scraping and standing up and being tough and stuff? How come we need a harmonious one now?
And what about the Chief Magistrate of Victoria's finding that Bruce Wilson and his solicitors made documents in the furtherance of fraud - against the interests of the AWU? Doesn't that make Julia Gillard a bit on the dodgy side - vis-a-vis that traitorous act of being found to be corrupt?