The CFMEU has threatened to disrupt major Victorian government projects as tens of thousands of workers rallied around the country to protest proposed building laws.

CFMEU secretary John Setka said union workers were prepared to take action against the Andrews Labor government over the use of 457 visa workers and illegal immigrants on state building projects.

“You came into government here declaring that you weren’t like the federal government… we have all these jobs going on and we have all these non-union, anti-union mobs that are employed 457 visas and illegal immigrants,” Mr Setka told a large rally in Melbourne’s CBD on Tuesday.

“People might have to wait for Skyrail longer than they think because they need the cooperation of the construction unions to finish all this stuff on time.”

When asked about the union’s threats, a government spokeswoman said Victoria will support contractors and relevant unions to resolve any issues.

The CFMEU warning came as thousands of workers rallied across the country to protest against the federal government’s reintroduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, changes to the building code, and possible cuts to penalty rates.

Victorian Trades Hall Council Luke Hilakari said the ABCC was a “devastating piece of legislation” that put construction workers’ lives at risk.

“Last time that was introduced 330 workers were killed on the job,” he told reporters.

Mr Setka said the ABCC was an attack dog for the government, driven by zealots who hate unions and workers

He said “corrupt” companies like Boral were lobbying the government for the ABCC’s return.

Mr Setka is facing charges of blackmailing two Boral executives in 2013, but is attempting to have the charges dismissed in the Victorian Supreme Court.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said unions were spreading false claims about the ABCC.

“The ABCC does have an important role in stopping unions using bogus safety disputes as an industrial weapon against employers,” Mr Willox said.

By Christine McGinn
  • Once again, the CFMEU is holding the people of Victoria and Australia to randsom. They have no respect for the democratic process at all.

    Why is the CFMEU even talking abut penalty rates? That decision does not even concern construction workers.

    The ABCC coming back is a good thing. Put them back in their place.

  • The deaths occur because the union harbours incompetent trades people who are surfing the wave of corruption. The union make life harder by slowing things down to a point that ordinary honest workers have to get their work done in half the time because the rest is wasted doing trivial Union related crap such as tool box meetings every time someone burps. The union are greedy and are acting contrary to their actual purpose. There would be more workers die from drink driving that anything else…..but do they ban tradespeople from driving or do anything to stop it? Nope! Every pub in Victoria has an armada of tradies smashing pots and driving home to the same loved ones the union rely on to make their propaganda so much more emotive…….. Safe work places….hell yes…….unions….hell no!

  • I say let them make their move. Builders and their own members are the loser when they breach contract and are required to pay the penalties. The boys don't want to work, then the government should redirect the money from those projects and use it to shut down the union and leave their boys without work. Looking at their crew….half of them probably came in on 457 visas anyway…….hardly a true blue Among them anymore!

    What next…..a one day work week because their boys are working too hard? Union is only good for those not good enough to keep their jobs and who are scared that incoming skilled labour might expose their lazy behinds. The fall back is always safety, but Safety is about being smart….not about being bullied by Unions! In fact, the worst I ever worked with were union boys…..the morons even intentionally brought asbestos onto site, putting all at risk, simply to get some paid time off.

    There is also plenty of non-union people ready to step up……including doing a better job in half the time for less money. Leave the union to their own demise and ban them congregating. It's as easy as labeling them as trouble makers and Banning their right to rally, just as politicians did with the motorcycles clubs. The union is just as bad if ot worse than the bikies! What is good for one must be good for all!

Allegion – 300 x 250 (expire Aug 30 2018)