Late last year the former Health Services Union leader, and Labor Party MP, Craig Thomson was found guilty of misusing union member’s funds. It was found that between 2002 and 2007 he spent over $5000 on sex workers and wine. He was fined $25,000 but spared jailed time.
By Meredith Jacka, Socialist Party
The capitalist press have attempted to use the findings to discredit the entire trade union movement. While his behaviour was reprehensible, we must stand against the idea that corruption of this sort is somehow an inherent aspect of unionism.
The truth is this type of corruption is more of an inherent aspect of the undemocratic and pro-capitalist Labor Party. This party long ago gave up on representing the interests of working people.
Unfortunately at the moment, most unions in Australia are affiliated to the Labor Party. The best way to prevent this sort of corruption from occurring is to build a political alternative to Labor within our unions.
Unions should have no affiliation to parties that take money from big business and support the profit driven anti worker system. Socialists support the building of a new mass workers party – a party that stands for a return to fighting and democratic trade unionism.