in more hot water as documents start to surface in the bubbling cauldron of fraud and deceit which has been cooking in the kitchens of the Australian Workers' Union.
I admit I have never been too happy with the union movement. I recognise it once had very worthy aims and it has, in the past, done a great deal for people who were not able to speak up for themselves. Now people have other weapons at their disposal. Some of those weapons may be more effective.
"Going to the union" when something goes wrong may not always be the best course of action. A colleague of mine had the choice of going to the union or going to the boss recently. He chose to go to the boss and explain, politely, that there was a problem. The boss listened and the problem was resolved. I have no doubt the boss appreciated the problem being handled in that way. It saved time and money.
The union did not like it. He was reprimanded for "not going through the proper channels".
"All they really wanted Cat," he told me, "was a chance to flex their muscles. I managed to get the problem fixed in a five minute meeting with the boss and now I am the one seen as a 'troublemaker' by the union."
I can understand that he might be. Unions do not seem to like people treading on what they regard as their territory. I can understand that too. The percentage of workers who belong to unions is not nearly as high as it used to be. They are as anxious to protect themselves as the workers they are supposed to represent.
So the current problems for the Prime Minister must also be a worry for the union movement. The Health Services Union is being investigated for fraud. The AWU has questions to answer. The CFMEU is under scrutiny again.
The same colleague who went to the boss also said to me,
"You know Cat if you put it all into a book they would say it was a stupid story."
Probably - at least it would be an unbelievable plot.