Canberra Liberal senator Zed Seselja has condemned a construction union for telephoning local residents as part of a campaign against the Chinese free trade deal and the use of overseas workers.
The condemnation comes as the CFMEU fronts a royal commission into union corruption.
Senator Seselja says the CFMEU organised to have a pre-recorded telephone message left on thousands of Canberra households on Tuesday night urging residents to call the senator about the free trade deal and its impact on local jobs.
Senator Seselja has released a statement accusing the union of trying to create a distraction away from this week’s royal commission hearings. But he says its backfiring as he’s had numerous complaints from residents about the union’s rude and aggressive tactics.
The message is linked to the union’s recent television advertisement, accusing the Abbott government of allowing Chinese companies to bring their own workers into Australia.
Its tag line is: “Tony Abbott made a choice. He just didn’t choose you.”
“The CFMEU are spreading xenophobic lies about overseas workers and are ignoring the facts,” Senator Seselja said.
“Today I have had numerous complaints from concerned citizens about the rude and aggressive tactics of the unions.”
Senator Seselja urged residents to contact the Australian Communications and Media Authority if they suspect the CFMEU ignored the Do Not Call register. The senator’s brother Zvonimir Seselja, a construction company employee, is one of 40 witnesses due to appear during the three-week commission sitting.