Unions declare war on Labor over FTA treachery

Last week, Labor attracted scorn from union leaders after the party’s caucus voted to support the federal government’s proposed free-trade agreements (FTAs) with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru. The key area of contention is that the Indian and Peru FTAs include working rights, which would expand the number of temporary migrant workers in Australia by several thousand, thus further undercutting local workers.

Over the weekend, a union-backed motion opposing free these FTAs was narrowly defeated 67 votes to 64 at the 2019 conference of Labor’s Northern Territory branch. The motion included a provision that MPs who vote for policies against the national platform should be expelled from the party. Warren Snowdon, Luke Gosling and Malarn­dirri McCarthy could have faced expulsion if the motion had been passed. From The Australian:

The ACTU and some Labor MPs argue that the free-trade deals, which the Labor leader and federal caucus backed last week, are a violation of the policy platform.

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