One of Australiaâ€™s biggest and oldest unions is changing its name from the Liquor, Hospitality & Miscellaneous Workers Union, partly because they claim the name is offensive to Muslims. Insiders tell VEXNEWS the rebranding exercise will cost the union in excess of two hundred thousand dollars.
Documents filed with Fair Work Australia and obtained by the famed VEXNEWS Investigations Unit confirm [pdf] that the LHMU will shortly be known by the more politically correct â€œUnited Voiceâ€.
The union has very diverse coverage from croupiers to childcare workers and its name stems from the amalgamation of the old Liquor & Allied Trades union and the Miscellaneous Workers Union.
The application filed with Fair Work Australia claims that â€œthe word â€˜liquorâ€™ is not in common usage and is offensive to Muslim members, some indigenous members and members in childcare and aged care.
It further claims that the word â€œmiscellaneousâ€ is difficult to spell and has a â€œpejorativeâ€ (negative) association for many members. Presumably theyâ€™d struggle to spell â€˜pejorativeâ€™ if they couldnâ€™t figure out â€˜miscellaneousâ€™. And we’re not sure the old lion of the Misso’s Martin Ferguson would even agree that it’s different to pronounce.
The documents reveal that the union engaged the services of â€œcommunication consultantsâ€ to help dream up a name that would cause less offence to Muslims, the indigenous and sensitive childcare workers.
The end result: â€œUnited Voiceâ€
Those friendly with the union tell VEXNEWS the union leadership has wanted to re-brand for some years to something more attractive in marketing terms than a stodgy old acronym (the LHMU) and that the lawyersâ€™ arguments to Fair Work Australia commissioners are designed to get them to agree and are not necessarily because the union has been taken over by politically correct labour history scholars. An overwhelming majority of those on LHMU decision-making bodies supported the change. They have no current plans to re-brand Christmas as Festivus though.