EPMU Statement On Brethren Situation
There has been much media attention in the past few days over the involvement of a group of Exclusive Brethren in commissioning and printing political brochures.
It has been suggested that the activities of the so-called “Secret Seven” are no different from those of unions seeking to inform members and the public about the implications of political activities.
The difference is that we act openly and transparently. Last year, a business owned by Exclusive Brethren told a group of immigrant employees it would dismiss them instantly if they spoke their own language at work.
Concerned about this attitude, the EPMU sought access to the workplace to recruit the employees concerned and defend their rights if necessary. Access was denied on the basis that the employer was exempt from the law that says unions must have access to potential members because union activity was contrary to the employer’s religious beliefs. Exclusive Brethren are the only group granted this priviledge.
The National Party says it believes in one law for all. Will it stand by this fundamental principle and commit to removing the exemption on union access for Exclusive Brethren?