I have never had a lot of time for the modern union movement in Australia. Unions were a necessary, even essential, part of the landscape in the days before government regulation and mass media. They would claim they are still an essential part of the landscape. I suspect the truth is different.
Australian unions want to retain the levy they imposed when they were endeavouring to get rid of WorkChoices. It was the money that gave them a massive fighting fund at the last election. They ran an highly effective scare campaign which lost the previous government the election. Now they want more money to run more campaigns. They say this is because the new IR legislation 'does not go far enough'. What they mean is that the new IR legislation does not give them all the rights and power they had hoped for.
Unions want power without responsibility. Unions want power without risk. They want rights without responsibilities. They want to dictate how business can be conducted. They claim they are preserving workers rights and conditions.
Unions do not take on the responsibilities of employers. They do not take on the risks. Unlike governments they do not even need to face an electorate. If they can achieve the return to compulsory untion membership they will not even have to seek out members. They will have a captive group.
For unions there is only one political party, Labor. Union money is used to finance Labor party campaigns, both directly and indirectly. They argue that this is fair because 'big business' supports the Coalition. The reality is different. Big business supports those whom they see as likely to give them the advantage they are seeking.
Even denying the Labor party the right to accept donations from the union movement would not halt the problem. The unions would simply run their own campaign in support of Labor.
What is needed is legislation to prevent the union movement from using member's money in support of political campaigns. It should instead be used for the original purpose - to help union members in need.
Instead the union movement has become greedy and, under Labor, is becoming far too powerful if Australia is to survive in the modern world.