If anyone had any doubts about the true purpose of the Royal Commission, they need look no further than Heydon’s acceptance to speak at a Liberal Party fundraiser and the arrest of Johnny Lomax.
Dyson Heydon – whose wages for this gig are still a state secret – has shown his political colours and despite the glaring conflict of interest continues to preside over the Royal Commission. He judged himself independent and refused to step down.
As for Johnny Lomax – the CFMEU organiser’s crime is that he secured a pay rise for workers who were earning $17 an hour, resulting in ‘financial loss for the employer’. He was charged with blackmail.
Welcome to Abbott’s Australia – where $80 million of your money is being spent to take away your rights.
Overturning 100 years of industrial law
This has never happened before. The involvement of police in what is a purely industrial matter goes against a hundred years of industrial law in this country, and is nothing but an
Johnny Lomax is being branded a criminal for negotiating a better deal for working people. That’s my job too.
That’s what I do, that’s what every union official in this country and all over the world does. His arrest is a vicious and direct attack on our ability to protect our wages and conditions.
Our legal right to do our job is under attack. During the Commission’s hearings in Canberra, a number of CFMEU officials were being questioned about going on sites over safety issues and signing people up to the Union – as if they were doing something wrong, as if this was an illegal activity.
Bosses untouched, lawyers pigging out
Why don’t the police arrest employers who underpay their workers? Why don’t police arrest employers who consciously put their workers at risk by making them work in unsafe conditions?
Because this government is not interested in whether you get ripped off. This government isn’t interested in whether you get home in one piece at the end of the day. Their interest is in looking after corporations to make even bigger profits at our expense.
Lawyers working for the Royal Commission are laughing all the way to the bank. We are paying head lawyer Jeremy Stoljar $3.3 million, Michael Elliott is getting $1.3 million and Sarah McNaughton $866,000. The law firm Minter Ellison, the former workplace of Attorney General George Brandis, was supposed to get $2 million, but has now pocketed $17 million of our money.
As for Commissioner Dyson Heydon’s salary – that is the best kept secret in the country. It is strictly confidential information.
This is our taxes at work: a Royal Commission that pays inflated wages to corporate lawyers who happen to be friends from way back.
Heydon very kindly launched Stoljar’s book a few years ago, and the two of them along with Elliott all work at the same chambers. And these Three Amigos have the gall to talk about ‘jobs for mates’!
Heads they win, tails we lose
Bill Shorten was attacked in the Royal Commission for being too close to employers and not getting a better deal for his members. The CFMEU is being attacked for being too militant and not cooperative with employers.
Either way, we can’t win. Because this Commission is about destroying our ability to push back against the 0.1% who hold the reins of business power in this country, who want to stop us from making the world a fairer place for you and your family.