The QCCL has welcomed the passing of legislation removing the need for unions to ballot members before embarking on campaigns.
This law was an entirely unjustified interference in the political activities of voluntary associations.
QCCL president Michael Cope says “We are surprised that the government has taken so long to realise that this law could not stand in the face of the decision of the High Court in the Unions NSW case.”
Members of Unions of employers and employees can control the expenditure by the Union of their dues by electing officials committed to their views as is the case in most other organisations in our society be it Rotary or your local football club. No cogent argument has been made to treat unions differently.
“Now that union membership is no longer compulsory members who object to the political activities of the Union can simply leave.”
The QCCL’s final objection to the law was that it imposed an entirely unjustifiable burden on one set of political actors, namely industrial organisations, which does not apply to other political actors, namely corporations.
Both industrial organisations and corporations are economic actors pursuing their economic interests in the economic market and the political market. The interests of shareholders and the members of industrial organisations are in this regard indistinguishable from one another. There is no reason why one set of individuals, that is members of industrial organisations, should have more rights than shareholders.
Mr Cope said “In short, the legislation, far from being a blow for freedom of speech and freedom of association, was in fact quite the opposite.”