24 December 2009

What is happening with the NUW in Queensland?

There's a bit of a mystery as to what happened to the officials attempting to block the Charlie Donnelly backed takeover of the Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia branches of the NUW. Certainly in WA the elected officials had their SDA gig to fall back onto, with that union being far bigger. But in SA and Qld the officials there were left without paid positions once those branches amalgamated into the Victorian backed General Branch.

The situation up in Queensland is bizarre. On 22 September 2009 the 'National Union of Workers Industrial Union of Employees Queensland' (NUWIUEQ) (the transitionally registered state union of the NUW) registered the Australian Business Number 34 732 750 564, based at the postcode 4129, which is the Logan area, south of Brisbane. Certainly not their Milton location.

In addition to this the NUWIUEQ has obtained right of entry permits for three individuals: John Cosgrove, the former State Secretary of the now abolished Queensland Branch of the National Union of Workers (ie the federal union), Michelle Holweg and Nick Story. See below.

Even more curious is the fact that Michelle Holweg appears to be the Secretary of the transitionally registered association and not John Cosgrove, despite his clear involvement. This can be evidenced in the Kerry Ingredients Australia Pty Ltd and National Union of Workers Industrial Union of Employees Queensland (Murarrie) Enterprise Agreement 2009 - 2011. Page 37 clearly shows that the address for the NUWIUEQ is 'The Groves', Unit 5, 3986 Pacific Highway Loganholme 4129. This is one of the few examples I can find of the NUWIUEQ having negotiated an agreement. It appears that most workplaces are choosing to deal with the NUW National Office, including the big employer Golden Circle.

Recent job advertisements (click here and here) on the Labornet website indicate that National Office has plans for growth and to possibly make sure this breakaway is crushed before it starts (although it's curious the closing dates for applications aren't until March 2010).

It is clear the NUWIUEQ has not given up the fight to operate as union in its own right. What is not clear is who is involved, besides the above three individuals. You'd imagine their financial membership is rather limited also so where is the money coming from? It's also puzzling as to why there is no telephone listing, at the very least, for this breakaway union. They have an office - why no phone? I expect details will come out in the new year...

The plot thickens.

For more information on the background to this story you might like to check out these links:
* NUW heads to Federal Court over bid to abolish branches
* Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2009: NUW NSW and QLD State Branch Submission

Postscript to this story (22 March 2012):
The NUWIUEQ was apparently defunct for some time. In 2011 the national office had clearly taken over the NUWIUEQ and had it deregistered. I've never heard of a union deregistering ITSELF. I can only assume it was to make sure national office had complete control.

1 comment:

Don said...

I was wondering if you could help me. I'm trying to find John Michael Cosgrove. I have some news about his father Mihael Juan Cosgrove. they have not had contact in 50 years. If you know this person ask him to contact me at donskerik@gmail.com