The National Union of Workers is contemplating a radical structural shift that will abolish all state branches except for NSW and Victoria according to union insiders.
The logistics and manufacturing union’s national leadership – headed by ALP Victorian President Charlie Donnelly – has launched a new proposal that would merge the smaller states into a “General branch” in an attempt to maximise efficiencies.
State branches of unions are traditionally jealous guardians of their turf, and its fair to assume that will be the case in the NUW as state secretaries contemplate a change of status to assistant secretaries of the general branch, with what they might imagine would be the risk of them being directed by the national office.
Sources close to the national leadership insist this isn’t about shafting anyone or seizing control of the smaller state branches but is a recognition that without radical change right now, the union faces some very serious challenges.
They explain the reason why this proposal was not circulated prior to this week’s national meeting in Melbourne was to ensure there could be full and frank discussions with everyone around the table. The non NSW/Victorian states are said to be less than impressed, both with the level of consultation and the proposal itself. Some say the process will only enrich members of the legal fraternity.