TWU wants pollies to blacklist Coles

Politicians should rule out donations from the supermarket retailer, TWU says.

TWU wants pollies to blacklist Coles
TWU National Tony Sheldon wants politicians to turn down donations from Coles.


The Transport Workers Union (TWU) is attempting to cut off Coles' ability to influence the political process by demanding politicians rule out donations from the retailer.

In its latest campaign against Coles, the union today demanded politicians blacklist the company and pledge support for a national anti-corruption commission and reforms to political donations.

TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon says donations from businesses that abuse their market power, shortchange employees or pressure them to break the law should not be accepted.

"We need to make clear that these practices won’t be tolerated. One way to do so is to set new national standards for donations," Sheldon says.

"For example, all parties should rule out donations from Coles, which is a poster-child for pressuring its workforce in order to maximise profits."

Sheldon has reiterated the results of a 2012 TWU-commissioned survey that found truck drivers in the Coles supply chain were pressured to skip rest breaks and speed.

"Coles is a major donor to the Liberal Party and has previously donated to Labor," he says.

"Those who receive Coles donations should explain how this has affected their views on road safety, including on the Government’s proposed abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal."

Labor in 2004 decided to refuse tobacco donations, while laws were introduced in New South Wales in 2009 to ban contributions from property developers, alcohol and gaming interests.

Sheldon wants a federal body established similar to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in New South Wales.

He says new political donation laws that provide real-time disclosure, greater vetting of donations and mandatory disclosure procedures for groups need to be introduced.

"We’re calling on MPs from all parties to be leaders against corruption, by supporting a federal ICAC and political donations reform," Sheldon says.

"A well-resourced and fiercely independent federal ICAC would expose corruption, give a forum for allegations to be resolved and encourage MPs to refuse and report offers of donations for decisions."

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