A group of Victorian unions has stepped up the threat of legal action against the federal Labor Party over his intervention in the victorian branch following allegations of widespread stacking of branches by former Minister of State Adem Somyurek.
On Monday, the Victorian branch of the Union for Energy and Maritime Mines and Construction – led by John Setka – issued a statement on behalf of five unions warning that they “are considering legal action against the intervention of the ALP National Executive … before meetings with Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews. “
The statement – that union lawyers are “preparing to take legal action” but does not urge them to do so – was interpreted as an attempt to pressure Andrews to negotiate for union rights and the party representation will be maintained. despite the intervention.
Earlier in June, the extraordinary federal intervention appointed Steve Bracks and Jenny Macklin directors of the Victorian ALP branch to prepare a final report on the restructuring of the branch by November 2020.
The motion passed by the national executive also noted that Andrews had asked that “all voting rights in the Victorian section be suspended until at least 2023” and urged him to exercise his powers to conduct “all the preselections for the next federal and state elections. “
The movement was started by a 60 minute report who investigated the allegations Somyurek, the power broker of the dishonored right-wing state, orchestrated the payment of party memberships in a grouping operation of branches in Victoria. Somyurek rejected the allegations of stacking branches and “would provide a rigorous defense during any party process”.
In the statement, an unidentified CFMMEU leader said: “Although we agree with Prime Minister Andrews’ swift action and support the cleansing of the party, we do not understand a three-year process.”
“Members and unions pay millions of dollars to support the party and are entitled to their democratic rights.
“It is not a one-party state, unnecessarily withdrawing democratic votes from members is simply not Australian.
“It would be embarrassing if it took three years to” clean up “the party given the number of members in the branch.”
The other unions identified as potential parties to the challenge are the Maritime Union of Australia, which is now a division of CFMMEU, the Rail Tram and Bus Union, the Health Workers Union and the Plumbers Union.
These unions are supporting a census of party members over the next six months, with an additional two months to examine, propose and implement the changes necessary to correct corruption, he said.
The basis for a possible dispute is not identified, although the CFMMEU affirms that “the best legal experts of the Victorian bar have detailed the possible illegality of the intervention”.
Any challenge would face a number of legal obstacles, including the decision of the Victorian Supreme Court of August 2019 that the application of the rules of political parties is no exception to the rule that the courts should not interfere in the internal conflicts of unincorporated voluntary associations.
In this case, Setka tried unsuccessfully to challenge a decision of the ALP national executive to deport him for behavior.
The national constitution of the ALP gives the national executive the power to cancel, intervene, resume or direct the conduct of the affairs of any branch or section of state, and to make any preselection that would otherwise been decided by the state branch or section.