Penny Wong wants enquiry into female staffer's photo after minister's night on grog - but has no concerns with what CFMEU did to these women
You couldn't get a Tally-Ho paper between Penny Wong and the CFMEU - from her official bio:
While she was still studying, Penny started working for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. After she was admitted to the bar, she continued her work with the CFMEU, and was elected as an organiser and industrial official. She worked in forest policy in the NSW Labor Government and later returned to Adelaide to practise law.
Penny is on the warpath right now about the treatment of women - actually one wonan, a DFAT official who was out on the turps pretty late with then Minister Jamie Briggs in Hong Kong. Senator Wong was on the ABC's AM program this morning calling for an investigation into the leaking of a photo of the woman:
WONG: What there needs to be is transparency from the Prime Minister. Mr Turnbull issued a statement late yesterday, some days after these photos were published after being distributed by his former Minister. He’s got another Minister who thinks it’s appropriate to describe a female journalist as a “mad expletive witch”. He’s refused thus far to front up and answer questions about his Minister’s conduct and I think it is a disappointing display of weakness by a Prime Minister who I know has always consistently advocated for women to be treated appropriately, and I think that is what makes it so disappointing that he’s demonstrated such weakness on this issue.
Now I think the more important question for Mr Turnbull is what action is he taking as the leader of the party and the Prime Minister to find out who received this photo and who provided it to the media. If he is concerned, and he should be – he’s right to be concerned about this complainant’s privacy being compromised in this way by the distribution of a photograph – if he is concerned about that he should be undertaking the appropriate investigation and taking appropriate action against whichever Coalition MP or Senator provided that photograph to the media.
So Penny - what are you doing aboutt CFMEU thugs who've abused female Fair Work inspectors in unimaginably frightening ways at work?
In July 2014 a young woman was in a group of Fair Work Inspectors sent to the Barangaroo building site in Sydney because of CFMEU thuggery. On several occasions her job was to take video and still photo evidence. In this statement to the TURC she's talking about Brian Sparkles Parker, still the CFMEU NSW Secretary.
In testimony before the royal commission, the head of the Fair Work Building Commission, Nigel Hadgkiss, said: "We have 25 documented cases of what are known as serious security matters involving my staff in recent years … where their personal details, home address and telephone numbers are put up…
"More particularly, female staff members are rung at home at night and abused ... One of our female staff received a phone call [and] he said 'Me and my seven mates are going to come and f*** you tonight'.
"Some of the female staff come out of these experiences pretty badly and do not continue in those duties."
No comment from CFMEU pin-up girl Penny Wong.
Back now to another day at the workplace for 30 year old Veronica.
To CFMEU Official Luke Collier Veronica is a F*cking dog and F*cking Slut - where was Penny?
This is the CFMEU's Luke Collier.
Luke Collier has a criminal record. He has a record of intimidating women. He recently moved from Sydney to Western Australia and is proving difficult to find.
Earlier this year, Collier pleaded guilty to a charge of assault. His victim was a woman. He was scheduled to appear in court on Monday on multiple charges, including aggravated assault, involving the same woman.
Collier was charged after police were called to St George Hospital last year to interview a woman with a broken arm and multiple bruises. She had told hospital staff she had been assaulted by her boyfriend. She named Collier.
Police took sworn statements from the alleged victim. The woman said Collier had threatened, stalked and beaten her on multiple occasions. Police took photographs of her injuries, and obtained medical records.
The woman agreed to press charges. She ended her relationship with Collier.
That the charges have now been withdrawn, without admission, creates a bad enough impression of failure but the story gets uglier.
Collier is an official for the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union. His conduct has received plenty of attention in the royal commission into union corruption.
The majority of CFMEU members get on with their work but elements of the union engage in intimidation, violence and other criminal activities. Coercion is a systemic problem in the construction industry.
The royal commission into union corruption, under former High Court justice Dyson Heydon, has published evidence of Collier's intimidation of women on work sites on several occasions.
In another complaint, he has been accused by a female government official of spitting at her on a work site last year. Collier's right of entry to work sites has been suspended. He has criminal convictions dating back to 2003. His conduct is part of a pattern of harassment of women by CFMEU officials.
An obvious inference can be drawn that the witness felt intimidated. Even if there was not overt coercion or inducement to drop her complaint, she felt sufficiently intimidated, or compromised, or exhausted to proceed.
In criminal cases, police do not need the victim to take a matter to court if there is multiple objective evidence, and sworn statements. They can pursue a court action without testimony from the victim. But in this case, with the woman not showing up for court, a police inspector felt that, without the defence being able to cross examine the alleged victim, the case would fail.
In exchange for withdrawing the charges, Collier agreed to a 12-month Apprehended Violence Order. Upon hearing this, the magistrate was clearly bemused, listing all the charges that has been withdrawn.
Not a whimper from Penny Wong.
Not even when Fair Work official Angeliek Peters had to endure this tirade from a CFMEU official in Wong's hometown Adelaide.
How do Labor's supporters reconcile the hypocrisy. Apparently Misogyny applies only to Tony Abbot - who would sort young Collier out on sight. All those officials should have been sacked as soon as these factual matters were established. Instead they're doing further damage to the two-faced Labor cause with charades like this:
Hadgkiss gave evidence that a CFMEU official, Shaun Reardon, had made late-night threatening phone calls to a female Fair Work inspector
At the time, Reardon was a White Ribbon anti-domestic violence ambassador. This fits with a grotesque double standard by the CFMEU on the issue of intimidation of women.
In October 2013, Dave Noonan, the national secretary of the union's construction division, issued a press release titled "Real men don't abuse women".
But in 2014, after media reports about Collier's abuse of a female Fair Work inspector, Noonan issued a press release which stated "Swearing on building sites is nothing new".
The pattern of intimidation goes back a long way. In March, Justice Tracey of the Federal Court found that several CFMEU officials, including John Setka, Shaun Reardon and Craig Johnston, had engaged in acts of intimidation in 2012 during a dispute in the Melbourne central business district with construction company Grocon.
The judge found that workers were met by protesters, led by Setka, Reardon and Johnston, hurling abuse and threats including "scabs", "dogs", "rats", "you will die", and "I am going to kill your family".
Previously, when Johnston was Victorian Secretary of the AMWU, he led an infamous "run-through" with 30 balaclava-wearing thugs who broke into a Melbourne office, hurled chairs through windows, upended filing cabinets, flung computers to the floor and threatened staff, including a woman who was five months' pregnant.
Another female employee testified she could not sleep properly for months after the attack.
In 2004, Johnston was convicted of riot, affray, criminal damage and aggravated burglary. He served nine months in prison.
Far from being condemned, a Craig Johnston Trade Union Support Committee was set up and issued a statement that "we will be waiting there at the gates when he comes out". When he was released from prison, Dave Noonan was waiting to admit him to the CFMEU.