FWC Bernadette O'Neill chooses day Tony Sheldon's overseas with US Teamsters to announce TWU prosecution
How appropriate is this couple as a representation of Labor values? They're pictured here at a TWU dinner in honour of US Teamsters boss Jeff Farmer.
When Julia needed looking after, Tony Sheldon, Bill Ludwig and Paul Howes from the AWU made it clear - they had Julia's back. Julia doesn't forget loyalty like that.
Remember the Fair Work General Manager Bernadette O'Neill?
Who could forget Bernie's glacial speed in investigating Craig Thomson - giving the Gillard Government more time for Craig to keep the balance of power in the House and Gillard in the lodge.
Well Bernie's still got it. She has taken two years to read evidence I reported formally to the Australian Federal Police in August 2014 after the Fairfax press reported on the TWU's inflated member numbers in December 2013.
The AFP decided to flick my crime report and the investigation of the TWU member fraud to the FWC where it's been warehoused without action until last night - when Tony was out of town and there's precious little time for news until the election.
This post isn't exhaustive - I'm half way through another comprehensive post on this issue - but researching on Twitter I found out why other media are reporting that "Tony Sheldon could not be contacted for comment" on the day Bernie announced this:
So where's Tony?
Teamsters2016 International Convention #Teamsters #Live Tony Sheldon TWU Australia National Secretary pic.twitter.com/guVYulsr8d
— TEAMSTERS LOCAL 1932 (@1932teamsters) June 28, 2016
TWU Australia National Secretary Tony Sheldon speaking to the convention delegates now. https://t.co/C0nv824pWa— Teamsters Local 344 (@TeamstersLU344) June 28, 2016
Ton's in the US with his Teamster mates to discuss issues of concern to Australian transport workers. Like refuelling Frank Sinatra's private jet..
What a coincidence Tony would be out of town supporting old mates in Jimmy Hoffa's Teamsters when he's being prosecuted for his own numbers racket.
Tony, Julia Gillard and the Teamsters have some joint form and memories of fun times at workers expense. Here's Tony Sheldon handing $5,000 of TWU members money to Teamsters boss Jeff Farmer for the families of American Teamster members in a dispute with their employer Toll Holdings in Los Angeles.
Hard to know how Aussie TWU members benefit from Tony giving their union dues to Americans.
Here's what happened when Tony had a chance to show his support for an Australian TWU member who worked for Toll.
Driver Paul Bracegirdle explained whose side Tony was on to the Trade Union Royal Commission.
Q. You had a particular interest in having a choice of super. Why was that? Getting a choice of super for yourself - where did your interest stem from?
A. Well, two things. One, I have a disabled daughter. She will never be able to work. She has a very low intellectual ability. And so I was just hoping to afford her the best future that I could and I just - you know, I think you should be able to look into which super funds offer the best rates of return, the least fees - various things. And I just didn't think that TWUSUPER was stacking up as well as some of the commercial organisations, some of the banks and things. And, two, I just thought it was wrong. You know, I just couldn't believe it, that, you know, we could be told where to put 10 per cent of our income. I was shocked. That's where the interest comes from.
After his union sold him out, Mr Bracegirdle went to his local member, Stephen Smith MP and Chris Bowen eventually gave Labor's mealy mouthed response in a letter Smith forwarded to Paul.
Fair Work Commissioner Ian Cambridge was on Paul's side - the side of the law - but Tony Sheldon's TWU had done a sweetheart deal with Toll Group to sell the workers down the river. And Paul Bracegirdle was just a member with a disabled daughter - not a famous figure like the United States "Teamsters" union boss Jeff Farmer.
Donation of members money to old mate from America - $5,000 and a slap up dinner.
Treating your members like mushrooms - priceless.
Tony didn't like the TURC. I think he likes Bernadette O'Neill and some of the FWC Commissioners like former ETU and Labor Party chief Bernie Riordan a lot. But not the TURC.
One day, Tony got so angry with the awful TURC he stamped his foot and "demanded" they make it stop.
But the TURC didn't stop. It examined Tony and the TWU membership numbers fraud. Commissioner Heydon said Sheldon’s conduct benefited the union by increasing delegate numbers and therefore voting power at the NSW Labor conference. “It was also done in order to procure an advantage for an officer of the TWU, Mr Sheldon, since his power as leader of the TWU delegates would increase,’’ the report said. “That is conduct falling below the professional standards of a leading trade union official.”
The commission also concluded that evidence from Mr Sheldon, the union’s national secretary, “permitted an inference that Mr Sheldon was giving knowingly false answers, and he had known for years that false membership numbers were being put forward. From that flows a further inference: that there was some advantage to be gained from this.’’
Bernadette's delay for 6 months in finalising her investigation is confounding. All the evidence has been clear for ages. What on earth would cause her to wait until the last days of the election campaign when Tony's out of the country and unavailable to contribute to the media's effort to bring you this story?
As it happens Tony didn't have to worry about the nasty TURC after all. Because last September God sent an angel to Tony to help him stop worrying.
Friendly Bernie at the FWC can deal with this as a civil matter involving the TWU entity in litigation - not Tony in a criminal prosecution.
And because Malcolm is not anti-union, Tony and the boys are free to operate their scams. This one was a beauty - charging super the super schemes to pay the wages of TWU thugs and standover men.
More union employees whose wages are paid by other organisations means more people at election time to campaign for more union officials to hold more seats in parliament where they can make laws to protect corrupt union officials. Just like Julia did.
And that means thzt people like this former TWU superannuation consultant can rest easily, knowing that Malcolm is not "anti" the organisations from which Conroy slithered into parliament.
I had a coffee with Graham Richardson after I'd reported chapter and verse on the TWU member fraud to the police in 2014.
Richo said, "That's going nowhere mate. You watch. They'll never get done for it".
Richo wasn't giving me an opinion. Richo spoke with a tone of authority as if he was talking about a decision that's already been made.
I don't want to live in the land of the sweetheart deals for protected mates..
And Richo, I'm not going to die wondering if I could have done more.