KNOW-ALL: Outrage as PhD unionist tries to turf Rudd Minister Martin Ferguson out of the Missos

jesswalshvmarn The Victorian State Secretary of the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union Dr Jess Walsh PhD is attempting to remove senior Rudd Government minister Martin Ferguson from the union of which he is a life member and former Federal President.

VEXNEWS has learned that a series of incendiary letters have been exchanged between the current Victorian secretary and Martin Ferguson relating to his membership.

Concerned sources within the union have expressed grave concerns that Walsh is an “ego out of control. A know-all who can be told nothing because her PhD makes her so much smarter than everyone else. She obviously didn’t study loyalty or decency at University.”

Senior figures in the union told VEXNEWS they have desperately tried for weeks to keep this messy situation out of the press, hoping that Walsh would “pull her head in”.

The attack on Ferguson, a much loved and respected figure within the union often simply called the “Missos”, is seen as symbolic of the arrogant disregard and disrespect for others exhibited under Dr Walsh’s reign.

Following the expulsion of Dick Adams, a former life member, from union membership, Ferguson is understood to have sought to transfer his life membership to that of an ordinary membership. LHMU sources say that Jess Walsh is stubbornly resisting this and has allegedly made a series of hostile allegations against Ferguson in her correspondence with him about the matter.

Walsh is said to have a very specific vision for the union, which includes separating from the ALP, not necessarily disaffiliating but canvassing strong relationships with the Greens Party and other parties too. She regards with contempt the previous Missos approach of using its influence within the ALP to achieve social wage outcomes that could benefit all low-paid members.

She also has made no secret of her view that “manufacturing is dead”, emphasising the services sector in her plans to reverse the rapid decline in membership that occurred under former Victorian union boss and property millionaire Brian Daley.

The Walsh model is based on the SIEU, an American union that she studied while in the United States.

Dr Walsh’s approach has infuriated a number of her interstate state secretary colleagues, many of whom were gob-smacked when they heard of Walsh’s move to effectively expel Ferguson from the union.

Jeff Lawrence, the ACTU national secretary, has also been the target of Walsh’s lashing tongue of discourtesy. He is said to be appalled at the treatment meted out to Ferguson and is annoyed that the pushy young PhD graduate has been “slagging” him off to many union colleagues. Lawrence has previously been a big backer of Walsh.

Walsh has unilaterally tossed out a nationally agreed pay structure for her officials, enabling her to pay her loyal mates more while drastically cutting the wages of organisers. Observers have expressed concern she is creating a highly unusual hierarchical model, calculated to centralise her control while in fact just exploiting the young more junior workers in the union.

She has ruthlessly sacked many staff including the ex-assistant secretary Veronica Ilias, who was quickly snaffled up by the Finance Sector Union who rate her highly.

Some observers regard Dr Walsh’s approach as neo-Maoist, favouring organisational chaos, fear, uncertainty and doubt as tools to “get the union moving”. They say part of that neo-Maoist approach is “trashing everyone and everything that preceded her” even to the point of expelling the union’s most revered figures.

The combative and allegedly self-important PhD graduate is said to have also had a stand-up screaming match with her national secretary and mentor Louise Tarrant in the forecourt of the the national union office in Thomas Street Sydney.

With union elections in 2010, a number of very angry former officials, her interstate colleagues wanting her dead and an arrogant approach that is alienating members, Dr Jess Walsh PhD may soon have to find employment at a higher education institution where she’ll probably feel much more at home.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “KNOW-ALL: Outrage as PhD unionist tries to turf Rudd Minister Martin Ferguson out of the Missos

  1. Alex White

    This is why we love vexnews

  2. disgrace

    Jess Walsh is an uppity little biatch.

  3. nice work

    Another brilliant VexNews exclusive.

  4. Anonymous

    Vexnews breaks the stories the others wish they could.

  5. Charles Manson

    Good to see the pisso’s r having fun

  6. I know nothing of La Walsh, but to judge from your story, she sounds a great comic character. But why should she be employed anywhere?

  7. reivax

    a visionary sometimes got misunderstood by his/her contemporaries. Is she or isn’t she one? How do we know? How do we judge? Why must old dinosaurs block the way of progress?

  8. observer

    hmm – many reckon Dr Walsh talks down to all. The cleaners, childcare workers, aged care workers and security guards.

    Let’s people know she is better than them because of her Phd.

    She certainly let people in the national office know she thought she was intellectually superior to them.

    She was ne’er prepared to lower herself to a comradely collective co-operation work culture.

    It was always me, me, me see how good I am Jeff. See how good I am Louise.

    I am better than them ( and she privately thought I am better than you too Jeff… and maybe even Louise)

  9. observer

    It is people like this that take the focus off the worker, further perpetuating loss of faith in unions by the workers. Ms Walsh has no respect for the people she works with nor the people she supposedly represents and no matter how much you argue for progress, Phd or no Phd, it won’t lead to the desired outcome without having your heart in the right place.

  10. Anonymous

    Jess Walsh is a fucking disgrace. The LHMU is a dag hanging off the arse of the most corrupt capitalists in town. Crown Casino, cleaning contractors, security, ABC Childcare. Nothing is too low for such a miserable outfit of incompetent gutless wankers.

  11. Anonymous

    Vex News should start a new annual union prize – the Dr Walshie – for the union leader who fucked up big time in any one year.

    Rules.

    To enter – must be an elected leader in a union state or national office

    Actions must have hurt big time one of the following: (1) the reputation of the union concerned,(2) the movement as a whole, and/or, (3) most importantly, the members of the union

    Prize – a doctorate in stupid unionism bought from one of those cheap union degree factories easily accessible on the web.And an official letter from Vex News addressed to the new Phd congratulating them on graduating to this prized status!

  12. We Love Martin

    What an ungrateful Jess – does she know anything about the great work of past Unionists such as Martin Ferguson. History is important if your going to have a future. Wake up to yourself Jess and look after your team. A great Leader has followers, a Team. Jess just has herself.

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