Labor and the Greens have combined in the Senate today to defeat the Abbott Government's legislation to establish a Registered Organisations Commission and align penalties for union and employer association officials with corporations law.
Former TWU national president and WA branch secretary Jim McGiveron has dismissed as "a complete fantasy" a claim by former AWU WA branch leader Ralph Blewitt that he was given $5000 cash in a brown paper bag to help win control of the transport union's state branch two decades ago.
The Heydon Royal Commission into trade unions will begin its public hearings with the former AWU official Ralph Blewitt, in evidence that is expected to touch on the role of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard as a young lawyer.
Former High Court judge Dyson Heydon has told the first sitting of the Coalition Government's royal commission into unions he is heading that its terms of reference are "not hostile to trade unions", while outlining the heavy criminal sanctions that apply to those who breach its rules.
The ACTU has fired the first shot in the royal commission into union corruption, finance and governance by telling the inquiry chief Dyson Heydon that it wants a ban on selective leaking of evidence to the media before hearings.
Stoljar, Elliott, Roughley the Royal Commission legal team; Senate committee to report on Fair Work Amendment Bill by early June; FWC president appoints Harcourt to super expert panel; and IR ministers unchanged after WA and Victorian reshuffles.
The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption will hold its first hearing next month and Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon will hand his final report to the federal government at the end of the year.
The Abbott Government says it has given former High Court judge Dyson Heydon a broad brief to probe employer behaviour and the role of police in industrial matters in the royal commission announced this afternoon, but the focus of its terms of reference is squarely on union misconduct.