Australia’s most offensive union has entered the South Australian election campaign, backing ex-union boss Peter Malinauskas, in one of the most ‘disturbing’ signs yet of Labor’s risk to the state’s growing economy and jobs.
The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU), known for its foul-mouthed militant Victorian secretary John Setka – charged and later convicted of harassment offences in 2019, and who reportedly told a national executive meeting that anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty’s actions had led to men having fewer rights – has plastered anti-Liberal corflutes around Adelaide.
One of the posters, authorised by the local state branch, depicts Premier Steven Marshall as a rat with the words ‘Marshall doesn’t give a rats”– reminiscent of unions’ giant inflatable rat, named ‘Scabby’, used on picket lines to protest against employers or non-union contractors.
“The CFMMEU is the most vile, dysfunctional trade union in the nation, and now they have put their money where their mouth is and publicly backed their choice, ex-Shoppies Union boss Mr Malinauskas, to lead the state,” Treasurer Rob Lucas said.
“The CFMMEU have driven up construction costs in the eastern states with their militant campaigns and the last thing SA’s economic recovery needs is the CFMMEU’s cancer spreading to SA building sites.
“Labor’s long-held support for easier access to building sites for union representatives is a position strongly supported by the militant CFMMEU.
“This is a very disturbing development in the election campaign and should serve as a stark reminder to every South Australian and local business of the huge risk Labor presents to the state’s growing economy and jobs.
“While Premier Marshall is securing the state’s future by strengthening the economy – now the fastest growing in the nation – and having delivered record employment, the unions are clearly desperate to return to tired old Labor.
“The intervention of the CFMMEU is the latest in a long line of unions and union bosses campaigning for Mr Malinauskas and the Labor Party.”
In the past four years, unions have donated more than $714,000 to the Australian Labor Party (SA Branch) – including the Australian Workers Union, Finance Sector Union, Transport Workers Union, United Voice, Southpaw Social Club and the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SA Branch).