Shorten ‘lends support to’ Indonesia free trade deal

The Weekly Times, 1 March 2019

“Shorten says he supports the deal but wants to see the detail to ensure workers are not getting ripped off…”

Ripped off? Like the Cleanevent deal?

The Australian, 2015

“Deal cost cleaning staff $400m”

ABC, 19 October 2015

“Cleaning company Cleanevent is alleged in 2010 to have entered a deal to pay the Australian Workers Union $25,000 a year in a ‘side deal’ to its enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) with the union”.

“The 2010 negotiations took place under Cesar Melhem [while] the original EBA was negotiated in 2006 while Bill Shorten was national secretary of the AWU”.

“Cleanevent’s GM of human resources, Julianne Page, wrote to the finance manager, in May 2010 to discuss the pros and cons of the deal:

‘For a saving of $1.5 million [in wages] we could make a donation of $20k to the union in some way, shape or form’, he wrote.

‘I am sure that making this ‘donation’ in whatever form we choose would be legal, but then this becomes a question of scruples’.

‘While I share … concerns for any exposure we may be opening ourselves to, I feel there is definitely merit in fleshing this out simply for the massive competitive advantage that we will be creating for ourselves’.

It has been alleged that the Cleanevent EBA left workers worse off by paying them lower penalty rates.

Ms Page agreed she had been anxious to finalise the deal with the AWU, testifying: ‘Part of my role was profitability of the company'”.

“[The TRUC also called] witnesses to testify about arrangements between the AWU and a company called Chiquita Mushrooms, which also involved Mr Shorten”.


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