EPMU increases donation to Labour Party
Labour Leader David Cunliffe (Photo: Simon Wong)
By Julia Hollingsworth
The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union says there's nothing to be read into a $20,000 increase in its donation to Labour's election campaign.
Delegates for the EPMU endorsed donations of $60,000 to Labour's campaign and $15,000 to the Greens at the union's national conference last week.
Last election EPMU donated nothing to the Greens and $40,000 to Labour's campaign, the union's national secretary Bill Newson said.
But there was nothing to be read into the 50 percent donation increase except that the EPMU could afford to give more, Mr Newson said.
"We didn't pay less because of some lack of faith in Phil Goff," he told NZ Newswire.
Although the donation has increased it's still much lower than what Prime Minister John Key suggested last month when National's cash-for-access fundraising schemes came under fire.
"The reality is that the unions put hundreds of thousands, if not millions [of dollars] into the Labour Party," Mr Key told reporters in May.
Mr Newson says unions don't have millions of dollars to give to political parties and he says he's not getting any special perks like one-on-one dinners with David Cunliffe for his donations.
Although members held a wide range of views about donating, the union decided to back Labour and the Greens as both parties had policies which would improve workers' rights.
"We would be staring down the barrel of further employment law damages [if Nation wins the election]," he said.
The EPMU, which represents 35,000 workers across the country, are affiliated with Labour and are given a say in who should be Labour leader.