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Unions to be given access to all your personal details under Rudd.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

Federal Member for Wannon

11 March 2009


The Rudd Government’s Fair Work Bill will give unions full access to the personal details of local non-union members, Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, said today.

“This Bill gives unions the right to view the personal records of any Western Victorian non-union member when investigating a suspected breach of the law related to a union member,” Mr Hawker said.

“This means they will have access to salary details, pay rates, super fund contributions, personal warnings, medical details, bonuses, disciplinary interviews, licence and criminal background checks, and family support payments.

“This is an outrageous infringement of privacy.

“It means that if there is only one union member in a local workplace, union officials will have access to the confidential personal details of all the other workers.

“If a union official is called into your workplace, whether the reason for the visit affects you or not, he or she will be able to see all the information your employer holds about you.

“What makes matters worse is that this right to invade your privacy has been given to unions that now represent only 14 per cent of the private sector workforce. They represent a small minority of the workforce and yet they are being given a licence to trample over the rights of the majority.

“The only reason the Rudd Government is permitting this outrage is because it is committing to paying back its union mates for their financial and political support and that’s more important to them than safeguarding the rights of the majority of Western Victorian workers.”

Mr Hawker said the Coalition believes that the rights of the 86 per cent of the workforce that does not belong to a union should be protected and that non-members’ records should only be made available when the worker gives consent, or where Fair Work Australia authorises them to be viewed.

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (02) 6277 4118