CFMEU Victorian and Tasmanian branch secretary John Setka has decided after 15 years as an ALP member to resign from the Australian Labor Party.
“This is a personal decision I have made; it will not affect The CFMEU Vic-Tas branch’s ability to advocate within the Labor Party for better policies on behalf of CFMEU members and working Australians.” Mr Setka said.
“I can no longer stand by and watch Anthony Albanese trash the traditional values of the Labor Party and the Union Movement.”
“The core values on which the Labor party was built have been totally eroded under Mr Albanese’s leadership, and I cannot support him as a member of the ALP any longer.”
Mr Setka said Mr Albanese’s betrayal of working Australians culminated last week with his support for the Morrison Government’s free trade agreements with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru.
“This is a complete betrayal of working Australians who will lose jobs to foreign workers as a result,” Mr Setka said. “It was the last straw for me and a sign of just how far out of touch Mr Albanese is with our fundamental principles.”
Mr Setka said Mr Albanese was also failing to take up the fight on the government’s draconian Ensuring Integrity Bill, which, if passed, will leave Australia with the most extreme workplace laws in the world and severely restrict workers’ rights to seek fair pay and better working conditions.
“Mr Albanese claims I have brought the ALP into disrepute. Nothing has hurt the Labor Party’s reputation like Mr Albanese’s leadership over the past 5 months.”
Mr Setka said Mr Albanese’s smear campaign to oust him from the Labor Party was based on a lie that he denigrated family violence campaigner Rosie Batty at the National Executive meeting – a lie that had been exposed by those who attended the meeting.
The dragging of his personal life into the smear campaign was a low blow, he said.
“Enough is enough. I can no longer ignore the effect this is having on my family, along with Anthony Albanese’s betrayal of working Australians and the core values of the Labor Party and Union Movement.”
“Moving forward, I will continue to lead the CFMEU and keep fighting to deliver the best wages, conditions and safety standards for construction workers and their families anywhere in Australia.”