The cleaning company at the heart of the inquiry into union corruption was on the verge of collapse, bleeding millions of dollars a year, and was owned by one of the nation’s richest families at the time it entered a controversial union deal.
Investigations by The Australian show Cleanevent was owned by Melbourne’s Liberman family — estimated by BRW to be the nation’s second-wealthiest — at the time it negotiated the controversial “side deal” with the Australian Workers Union that severely disadvantaged workers.
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Under the 2010 deal, AWU Victoria contracted not to take industrial action against Cleanevent in return for annual payments of $25, 000, saving Cleanevent $2 million a year in wages.
Company records show Cleanevent was desperate for the money in the lead-up to negotiating that controversial deal, having defaulted on a multi-million- dollar loan with ANZ.
In July 2007, the Liberman family donated $50, 000 to left-leaning political group GetUp!, at the time the third biggest donation it had received…
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