Friday 29 January 2010

Electrical Trades Union lays charge against Cook MP Jason O'Brien

Just two weeks after the very public airing of dirty union laundry between Barron River MP Steve Wettenhall and the Electrical Trades Union, neighbouring Cook MP, Jason O'Brien has been asked to face up to a hearing before the same union before he is striped of his membership.
"A charge has been laid against you under Section 86 of the Unions’ rules by a financial rank and file ETU member," Peter Simpson, state secretary of the Electrical Trades Union said in a letter to Cook MP Jason O'Brien.

"You are invited to attend the Unions’ State Executive meeting on the 15th February 2010 at the Unions’ South Brisbane offices, 41 Peel St South Brisbane to respond. You are entitled to bring with you a representative if you should desire."

Jason O'Brien is an ETU member, and the union says he is working in direct opposition to the position on the Union's stance to oppose the sale of Queensland-owned assets.

O'Brien has recently called the Union campaign against local MPs to get them to oppose the State Government asset sale programme as "playing silly games."

The complainant stated that O'Brien is an elected Member of Parliament and voted to support the sale of assets "despite the harm this will cause to our members and their families."

"Jason clearly knows the Union's position on this matter and should be supporting his union to appose the sale of these assets. This Union has expended enormous amounts of money on advertisements opposing the assets sale, including a mobile billboard driving around Cairns."

"There were also extensive articles in the last journal on the decision taken by this Union to oppose the asset sale and to campaign against it," the complainant said. "I have struggled to accept a member of this Union can actively work against this and his decision to support the sale of assets in Queensland is reckless and he is not worthy of being a member of this Union," the complainant said.

"In accordance with the rules, I have enclosed a cheque for $100, and I want charges laid against Jason O'Brien for failing to comply with the following rules:

  • - Rule 86 (a)(i) (A) Failing to observe any or all of these rules;
    - Clause 84 (b) Duty to observe and act in accordance with all decisions and resolutions of the Union.

"I urge the State Executive to expel Jason O'Brien from our Union," the complainant wrote to the ETU secretary.

The termination call comes just days after O'Brien called for access to a report that he says was kept secret by the Cairns Regional Council. However CEO Lyn Russell said the report, a summery of her first 30-days in the job, was simply a internal PowerPoint presentation for staff and Councillors, and the real report was published following a recent Council meeting.

There's an interesting message at the bottom of ETU Peter Simpson's email correspondence to Jason O'Brien. It says "Sometimes you have to burn the village to save the village."
How interesting.

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