Union Boss goes on First Class Junket!

It’s been reported today that high-profile union boss Dean Mighell went on an $80,000 luxury junket to Britain paid for by a workers’ redundancy fund.

The Electrical Trades Union state secretary flew business class to London and stayed in the posh Royal Garden Hotel, near Kensington Palace, together with union mates and bosses linked to the fund’s board. Hotel receipts seen by the Herald Sun reveal:

More than $27,000 was splurged on accommodation.

AT least $10,000 was spent on meals, drinks, valet service, the internet, in-house movies, the mini-bar and other items.

A phone call from Mr Mighell’s hotel room was made to a transsexual escort named Suzana.

Touted as a “shemale”, Suzana says on a website: “I am a sexy and very convincing ‘TV girl’ escort. I work in central London from a nice, quiet and clean flat.”

Mr Mighell, who has criticised PM Kevin Rudd for being out of touch with workers, was happy to live it up at the redundancy fund’s expense in the 2006 jaunt.

When confronted with details of the trip yesterday, Mr Mighell admitted it was paid for by the ETU-controlled workers’ fund, called Protect.

Former ETU state council member Vanessa Garbett said no written report of the trip was provided to council.

“It’s indefensible. Why eight of them needed to go and investigate is beyond me,” she said.

“It’s all members’ money. It’s something that should have been reported in full (to state council),” she said.

Oh dear. It’s not very good is it? Mind you, at least they didn’t take the private jet, and stop off at the beach on the way back…

Posted by:Stuntreb

Moderating comments

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Economy XVII

After the plunge on Wall St overnight (Dow down 4.7%), I think it is time that we have another thread on the economy. Some of the recent developments:

  • the US government intervention in AIG has increased. Some of the loans have now quietly been transformed into actual stock, with additional money also being pumped in
  • the US car manufacturers are really struggling. I read yesterday that one major broker has recommended that people sell any GM shares as they will be worth nothing in the near future
  • Amercian Express has converted into a bank to allow it to get government protection and access to federal funds. But wait – isn’t this what the Australian government recommended that non-banks in Australia should do if they want federal protection?

I am sure there are other stories that I have missed that the blogocrats can fill us in on.

Continue reading

Ken Henry postscript

When denying the “suspicions” of the opposition about the budget forecasts, Treasury Secretary Ken Henry made two attacks on their current tactics. Firstly, their undermining of the public service was “unhelpful”. In Yes Minister terms that equates to the strongest criticism.

His second point, though not directly mentioning his Liberal Party critics, touched on the irresponsibility of white-anting financial institutions such as the Treasury and the Reserve Bank at a time of financial crisis.

Fundamentally, what is driving weaker economic outcomes globally at the moment is fractured confidence. So anything that can be done to help restore confidence in real growth in the strength of the economy right at the moment, is valuable.

We can talk ourselves into worse outcomes; of course we can. People do; it wouldn’t be the first time. But we don’t have to…
Henry slams Opposition’s manipulation claims

The key people talking down our financial institutions in Australia are the Federal Opposition. Malcolm Turnbull must know the implications of this.

Kevin Rennie
Labor View from Bayside