Unions must stop threatening council workers

10th September 2007Shadow Minister for Local Government, Planning and Sport Howard Hobbs today warned Queensland unions that threatening Council workers affected by Council amalgamations with the sack unless they paid a union membership was akin to blackmail.
“Reports have surfaced that Union representatives have told Council workers that those who are union members will retain their jobs and those who aren’t, won’t have a job,” Mr Hobbs said.
Mr Hobbs said this sort of militant union behaviour was akin to blackmail but he doubted that the Beattie Labor Government would pull their union mates back into line because they had already stacked the Local Government Transition Committees with union officials.
“Some Union officials are sitting on up to eight transition committees – whereas this would not be acceptable for a community representative or a Councillor,” Mr Hobbs said.
“Of the 37 000 Council employees currently in Queensland, approximately ten to twenty five percent are union members.
“There are thousands of Council workers who will be threatened into paying a union membership of more than $400 each, because they are being told by militant union bosses that that is the only way to keep a job.
“The Unions stand to gain millions of dollars by threatening Council workers into becoming members.
“I doubt that the Unions will lift a finger to help the workers through amalgamations as regional administrative jobs are lost, as they are more motivated to raise membership money in the lead up to the Federal Election.”
Mr Hobbs said the Unions were desperate to ensure that Local Governments in Queensland do not access Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) and the Australian Services Union states on their website “We certainly won’t tolerate service reductions, privatisation of local government services or the introduction of AWAs*,” Mr Hobbs said.
“It is a shame that the union ideology has got in the way of trying to gain positive outcomes for employees and the community,” Mr Hobbs said.
Media Contact – Howard Hobbs Ph 4622 8888