Workplace Relations minister Bill Shorten has applied to place the Health Services Union East branch in administration in Federal Court, it has been revealed.
Counsel for Shorten told the court the minister wants to issue an application under the Fair Work act.
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The union has attacked the move, suggesting it was a “cheap political stunt”.
“We will get to the administration point whether he applies for it or we apply for it. That will happen,” national secretary Kathy Jackson said outside the court, according to Fairfax.
“This is a spiteful move… by the ALP. They should have taken action on [former national secretary and federal MP Craig] Thomson and [the HSU East general secretary Michael] Williamson earlier.
The HSU and its largest branch are currently under investigation by Fair Work Australia and police in New South Wales and Victoria.
Seven shares plummet 15% after profit downgrade
Seven West Media shares have fallen 15% this morning to $3.19 after the company announced a profit downgrade late on Tuesday.
The company said full-year EBIT were likely to be $50 million below market expectations of $515 million.
Seven West said it was keen to keep cost growth below inflation, ”except for the continuing investment in programming in the television division”.
Analysts reworked their forecasts, saying they had underestimated the cost growth in the business.
”Our previous forecasts assumed a portion of the incremental AFL costs, as circa $20 million would be absorbed into the existing programming budget,” Citi told Fairfax.
Shares rise after strong offshore leads
The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning after a good result on Wall Street, where a strong financial report from Apple bolstered investor confidence.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 24 points or 0.6% to 4385 at 12.00 AEST, while the Australian dollar was trading at $US1.03c.
In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 89 points or 0.7% to 13,090.7.
St George jobs on the line
Up to 200 Westpac employees are at risk of losing their jobs as the bank mulls over outsourcing prospects, according to Fairfax.
“This is still just a proposal that is being reviewed,” spokeswoman Christina Efthymiades told the publication.
“Should we decide to proceed with the transfer of St George IT infrastructure to IBM, our aim is to ensure all affected employees will continue to be employed by IBM or by us.”
Britain falls into recession… again
Britain has fallen back into recession after the country’s growth shrank in the first quarter.
GDP fell 0.2% between January and March, following a 0.3% drop in the fourth quarter, according to official statistics.
“We are in a difficult economic situation in Britain,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement to Parliament.
“Just as you see now recessions in Denmark, in Holland, in Italy, in Spain, that is what is happening in the continent that we trade with. What is absolutely essential is we take every step we can to help our economy out of recession.”