Hughie's last stand fails to sway Bligh

Bligh Government ignores call from dumped TWU branch secretary Hughie Williams for it to investigate recent union election

December 2, 2010

The Bligh Government has ignored a plea from Hughie Williams to investigate the recent union election in which he was soundly defeated.

Williams will relinquish the job of branch secretary of the Queensland Transport Workers Union (TWU) in January next year after more than 70 percent of union members swept Peter Biagini into the job.

Williams contacted the Government asking it to launch an inquiry into the election, claiming Biagini was financed by other unions.

A spokesperson for Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick says the election is a federal matter and Williams should direct any concerns to the relevant authority.

"The recent TWU election was conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission under the Commonwealth's Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009," the spokesperson says.

Williams claims Biagini will be beholden to outside influence as payback for helping finance his campaign.

"This sort of money doesn’t come without strings attached. TWU members should be outraged that their union has been compromised and now has a leader who owes favours all over town."

ATN has contacted Biagini for comment, who has previously thanked grassroot activists for his resounding victory.

A long-time TWU member, Biagini is planning wholesale reform of the TWU, including a substantial increase in the number of delegates and officials and creating closer ties with the federal branch.

Williams is also taking legal action against Biagini who he claims has defamed him. Biagini has also indicated he will take action against Williams.

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