Damning Labor silence on Membership fees for jobs rule

The refusal of all Labor MPs to comment on whether they were aware of Labor’s Membership fees for jobs rule when recruiting staff is damning.

Section 87 of the Industrial Relations Act 1984 makes clear that any action by a person or organisation with the intention of coercing a person to join a Union is not permitted. Labor’s membership fees for jobs rule clearly meets this criteria. Despite that Labor yesterday voted against a motion calling on them to scrap the rule.

The existence of the rule is clearly in breach of a range of state and federal laws. It’s publicly available on Labor’s website and known to both prospective job seekers and Labor MPs who select and recruit staff to their offices.

Despite an hour-long debate on the issue in Parliament yesterday, not one Labor MP has denied that they are aware of the rule when selecting staff. It’s impossible for them to do so as it’s a rule known to all members and which all members are bound by.

If Labor MPs have nothing to hide on this, why are they leaving all comment to the State Secretary, who should have no role in selecting taxpayer-funded staff for Labor offices?

The half-hearted claim, made years after the Rule was first published, that it ‘hasn’t needed to be enforced’ does nothing to make the existence and publication of the rule more legal or less discriminatory.

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