Building worker sacked, allegedly under union pressure, for attending protest

At least one building worker has already been sacked after attending Monday’s violent protest outside the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne, and he has accused the construction union of pressuring his employers to lay him off.

© Eddie Jim Contruction workers protest against their union CFMEU. 21 September 2021. The Age News. Photo: Eddie Jim.

A worker from a CBD construction site who attended Monday’s protests told The Age on condition of anonymity that he was sacked on Tuesday morning. He said he was not opposed to vaccination and had not been violent at the protest.

He said his employer had called him and told him he had no choice but to remove him from the job as the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union had threatened the business with loss of trade if he did not comply. Several other workers had also been laid off for attending, the worker said, which has been confirmed by The Age with third-party sources also speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared for their futures in the industry.

On Wednesday, CFMEU secretary John Setka said anyone involved in the protest “may as well go pick fruit in Mildura somewhere because they will not be working in our industry”.

“We don’t need morons, drunken morons, that think … throwing bottles at people is a good way to protest. They can go somewhere else,” Mr Setka said.

The worker, who is a CFMEU member with 25 years’ experience, said he had left-wing views and had received two COVID-19 vaccinations.

“I went there to support the blokes, to support freedom and to support freedom of choice,” said the worker, who requested anonymity as he feared repercussions.

The CFMEU has supported vaccinations but does not back mandates imposed by employers or the government. Some members argue its stance against mandatory vaccination, which the government imposed last week, has been too weak.

The worker said he and his colleagues had become angry on Monday morning after being presented with a proposal to work six hours without break but to be paid for eight. “People have had a gutful,” he said. “We said f— this, we are going to march and get some answers.”

The CFMEU has been working to identify construction workers who attacked its Melbourne headquarters, with Mr Setka telling ABC Breakfast on Wednesday it was trawling through footage on Facebook and other video taken at the protest. “We don’t need people like that. Our industry, we try to make it safe,” he said.

The worker who was sacked said he feared he would be driven out of the industry and unable to support his family. He estimated well over 90 per cent of the crowd when he was there on Monday were building workers. “It was genuine angry workers.”

However, Mr Setka on Tuesday described them on radio 3AW as “pigs, drunken morons” and said: “I will not pander to them.

“So you know what, there will be consequences out of this. We are not going to tolerate this. Melbourne doesn’t need this.”

Mr Setka’s repudiation of the protests won support from Labor leader Anthony Albanese on Wednesday, though he maintained he was right to push the union leader out of the ALP in 2019. Mr Albanese highlighted anger from the CFMEU leadership and other unions such as the nurses over the protests, which included a contingent of construction union members.

“John Setka is right on this occasion,” Mr Albanese said. “What we have seen is people’s jobs and livelihoods endangered because of the actions of an extreme fringe who engaged in a violent demonstration yesterday, who attacked and assaulted police, who attacked and assaulted people from the media, who attacked and assaulted innocent people.”

Mr Setka did not respond to questions from The Age. The union has played down the extent of building worker involvement at Monday’s protest, saying the rally had been overtaken by far right and anti-vaccination outsiders.

While the far right and those opposed to vaccinations were active, senior union figures estimated about 80 to 90 per cent of the protesters on Monday were construction workers. That proportion was estimated to have dropped considerably over the following days.

Some of Monday’s protesters were drawn from Mr Setka’s powerbase in the Croatian community and rely on him for work as part of patronage networks. Many are right-wing and have anti-vaccination views and have now turned on the union leader. There were further signs of the fracturing of this powerbase with the presence at the rallies on Monday and Wednesday of Anton Sucic, one of Mr Setka’s closest long-term friends.

The Age has been provided with images of Mr Sucic, a long-time shop steward at Multiplex, a builder with close links to the CFMEU. In 2014 Mr Setka was accused of pressuring employers to hire Mr Sucic.

The Australian Building and Construction Commission, the industrial regulator for the sector, said it was “pursuing lines of inquiry” about unlawful industrial action on Melbourne building sites this week. It said anybody who had been “the victim of unlawful industrial action or any other contraventions of workplace laws” was encouraged to contact the regulator.

Do you know more? Send a confidential message to benschneiders@protonmail.com

The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Kadar kelahiran menurun bukan hanya sebab kewangan, kata pakar

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Menurut Jabatan Statistik, jumlah kelahiran hidup tahun lepas adalah 470,195, jumlah terendah dalam tempoh lebih sedekad. (Gambar Freepik) PETALING JAYA: Sebuah badan bukan kerajaan ... Read more »

Amazon's Beauty Haul: Best Deals on Beauty Tools, Makeup, Beauty Products, Skincare and More

© Amazon You don’t have to wait until Black Friday to save big on beauty at Amazon. The big discounts are happening right now, at the very start of the ... Read more »

Why we must embrace geoengineering and other technologies to stop the climate crisis

Recent adverse climate events — such as summer wildfires — have given Canadians something to worry about. Despite reports that most countries are not on track to meet their 2030 ... Read more »

Why elections matter: National child-care plan could create workplace gender equality

Canada’s progress on gender equality in economic participation and opportunity has stalled since 2006, when the World Economic Forum started measuring it. In fact, it has reversed while other countries ... Read more »

Messi pencetus inspirasi Les Parisiens

© Provided by Sinar Harian PELEDAK Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), Lionel Messi menjadi pencetus inspirasi ketika Les Parisiens mengatasi RB Leipzig 3-2 dalam perlawanan Liga Juara-Juara di Le Parc des Princes. ... Read more »

Tidak mahu menjadikan kekurangan sebagai alasan, pelajar OKU penglihatan ini tetap semangat mahu ke sekolah

Walaupun menghadapi kekurangan dari segi penglihatan, namun ia tidak menjadi penghalang bagi pelajar kelainan upaya (OKU) Nur Fatin Soffea Sofi, 7, untuk terus bersemangat hadir ke sekolah. Pelajar Sekolah Kebangsaan ... Read more »

Trofi Peja 2021 tampil 27 pasukan wakili pelbagai kaum

© Provided by Sinar Harian SEBANYAK 27 pasukan mengesahkan tempat bagi merebut hadiah wang tunai keseluruhan sebanyak RM10,000 dalam Kejohanan Bola Sepak 9 Sebelah Trofi Peja 2021 Peringkat Parlimen Tambun. ... Read more »

IT firms may take a 1-3% hit on margins as travel resumes

The cost benefits that accrued to software services providers till now due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions may be coming to an end. Executives at top IT companies signalled a ... Read more »

Mary Berry to be honoured for a lifetime of cooking, writing and baking

Mary Berry will be made a Dame Commander by the Prince of Wales for a lifetime of cooking, writing and baking. The leading cookery writer and broadcaster has published more ... Read more »

Social media giants under pressure over Satanist linked to Wembley murders

A Satanist whose work is believed to have influenced double killer Danyal Hussein has been removed from Facebook and Instagram following an investigation by the PA news agency. Hussein, 19, ... Read more »

Couple discover cardboard sketch they planned to use as an oil drip-tray for a motorbike is actually a Lucian Freud print worth £18,000

A couple bought a rare Lucian Freud print featuring David Dawson for just £12Not realising its value, the pair planned to use the Freud original as oil drip trayThe print will go up for sale on November 16 and is estimated to fetch £18,000 Read more »

Anger as 10-year-old girl handcuffed and taken from school in police car over ‘upsetting' painting

Officials at Honowai Elementary School, Hawaii called in the police over a school yard dispute which resulted in the wrongful arrest of a 10-year-old Black girl (Honowai Elementary/Facebook) A 10-year-old ... Read more »

Terrorists who plot to kill multiple people or who travel to war zones will face minimum of 14 years in jail under tougher new sentencing guidelines

Dominic Raab hopes the new powers will deter 'those who kill and maim'The Sentencing Council will today set out its proposed guidance to judgesThe new guidelines should close a loophole that allowed for shorter sentences  Read more »

Building giant adds £50m to cladding fund to fix fire-trap flats after profits doubled

Property developer Bellway has set aside a further £51.8m to fix fire-trap flatsIt takes the amount it has pledged for unsafe buildings since Grenfell to £164.7mHowever, leaseholders claimed company was pretending to take issue seriously Read more »

When Should You Stop Watering Your Plants in the Fall?

When it comes to fall garden maintenance, shutting off your sprinklers shouldn’t be the first task on your list. Make it one of the last so your plants will be ... Read more »

Morrisons will pass into foreign ownership for the first time as £7billion deal with American firm gets approval

497 Morrisons UK stores to be sold to New York-based Clayton, Dubilier & Rice The supermarket giant to pass into foreign ownership for first time in 122 yearsMorrisons £7billion takeover deal passed with a huge majority of 99.2 per cent  Read more »

Inside the dreamy $9million Byron resort-style hideaway where every day feels like a holiday - complete with spectacular views, an infinity pool and a sun-filled bedroom that looks over the valley

An outstanding resort-style estate in the Byron Bay Hinterland has been listed on the market for $9millionBehind the doors of 20 Fig Tree Lane, Myocum awaits a luxury property with sweeping valley viewsThe spectacular six bedroom, five bathroom 'Las Palmas' home spans over 600sqm of floor space The luxurious house with a 15m infinity pool would make every day feel like a holiday The unique home is said to be a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity for buyers to snatch up  Read more »

Biden and the Democrats screw the little guy again

What was the greatest trick ever pulled? Was it the devil convincing the world he didn’t exist, as Charles Baudelaire said and Keyser Söze repeated? Or maybe it was Soviet ... Read more »

Bin collectors in Glasgow plan week-long strike that could turn the city into 'giant rubbish dump' during Cop26 climate summit

Bin strike threatens to turn Glasow into ‘dump’ during climate change summit1,500 refuse and cleaning staff are planning a week-long strike from November 1 GMB union rejected £850-a-year pay increase and are calling for a £2,000 rise Read more »

House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) says the House will vote Thursday on holding former President Trump’s ex-strategist Steve Bannon in contempt for defying a congressional subpoena. © Greg Nash ... Read more »

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry Indicted for Lying to Feds About $30,000 Campaign Contribution

Nebraska Representative Jeff Fortenberry was indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday after he allegedly lied to federal investigators about the source of a $30,000 campaign contribution. © VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP ... Read more »

Lakers vs. Warriors live score, updates, highlights from 2021 NBA Opening Night game

The 2021-22 NBA season is upon us with an Opening Night doubleheader that you will not want to miss. The slate continues with LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and ... Read more »

US House panel votes to hold Steve Bannon in contempt

© Provided by dw.com The Tuesday evening vote sends the contempt resolution to the full House, which is expected to vote on the measure Thursday The US Congressional select committee ... Read more »

‘You can't be in power forever': Ace Magashule weighs up ANC prospects

Crowds do not represent an election victory, the ANC’s suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule has warned after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s well-attended two-day campaign in the Free State. © Copyright (c) Daily ... Read more »

Terrorist plotters to face 14 years in jail under new UK rules

© Pete Maclaine / i-Images The Royal Courts of Justice in London. Photo: I-Images Terrorists who plot to carry out attacks that could lead to at least two deaths may ... Read more »

Florida teen fatally shot by police after pointing air rifle at officers

A 17-year-old boy was fatally shot by Florida police on Saturday night after the teen pointed what turned out to be an air-powered pellet gun at cars and officers, authorities ... Read more »

Emergency Covid powers are extended for ANOTHER six months

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Emergency Covid powers were extended for another six months yesterday.  Health Secretary Sajid Javid claimed extraordinary measures used to impose house-arrest, close businesses ... Read more »

Moscow imposes new Covid-19 restrictions as deaths reach all-time high

© Maxim Shemetov, Reuters Moscow’s mayor on Tuesday ordered the city’s first coronavirus restrictions since the summer, as Russia registered 1,015 daily COVID deaths, a new record. At the national ... Read more »

Indian barber siblings turn heads into canvasses by giving unusual haircuts

© Reuters/STRINGER Gurwinder Singh Sidhu, a barber, displays a photo of Michael Jackson next to a customer after he made a hair tattoo of the pop star in the customer’s ... Read more »

Insurers, retailers lift London's FTSE 100; Moneysupermarket.com jumps

FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain By Shashank Nayar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar (Reuters) -London's FTSE 100 ended higher on ... Read more »

Blanche Street death: 'We are investigating this as if it was a homicide'

Oct. 19—Police are investigating as a homicide the death of a 65-year-old man whose remains were found last week inside his home under suspicious circumstances. John Canfalone was identified as ... Read more »

Kolkata FF Fatafat result today October 20, check Fatafat Result online

Kolkata FF Fatafat result today October 20, check Fatafat Result online Kolkata FF Fatafat Result Today: A lottery is a form of gambling that involves the drawing of numbers at ... Read more »

Bangladesh violence: Death toll rises to 5 after another man succumbs to injuries

© Provided by Zee News Dhaka: Another person in Bangladesh lost his life on Tuesday after reporting injuries in the clash between police and attackers at the Lakshmi Narayan Akhra ... Read more »

Mumbai colleges all set to reopen from today - Check guidelines issued by BMC

© Provided by DNA Maharashtra’s capital city Mumbai is all set to reopen and resume offline classes for students starting today (October 20, 2021). Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as colleges ... Read more »

Chinese hot pot chain Haidilao slows growth as COVID-19 curbs consumer appetite

By Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh © Reuters/TINGSHU WANG Waiters serve customers at a Haidilao hotpot restaurant in Beijing BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s biggest hot pot chain Haidilao is slowing ... Read more »

House Capitol attack committee votes to recommend Steve Bannon prosecution – live

LIVE – Updated at 01:24 The panel took the aggressive step against Trump’s former adviser after he defied a subpoena relating to the 6 January insurrection – follow live. Today’s ... Read more »

Will you be wearing the bizarre trend set to take off this summer?

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A bizarre fashion trend is set to dominate offices across Australia as workers dress to the nines after months of lounging in lockdown ... Read more »

Big Brother VIP: Channel Seven announces premiere date for new season

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Big Brother VIP will premiere on Monday, November 1. Channel Seven confirmed the launch date for the highly anticipated reality TV show on ... Read more »

Abetz denies Ernies award remarks

Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz has challenged the outcome of the 29th Annual Ernies Awards for Sexism, vehemently denying he ever made the comments that netted him the top gong.  © ... Read more »

Brisbane's Australian Country Choice meatworks suspended from exports to China

A ninth Australian meatworks has been suspended from trading meat to China. Brisbane-based Australian Country Choice (ACC) was alerted by Australian authorities this morning that its trade to China has ... Read more »