CFMMEU boss John Setka attacks South Australian officials in expletive-laden tirade
Summary: A UNION heavyweight savaged his South Australian colleagues in an email, describing them as “weak c***s” and “bludging f***ers”, in a tirade a source said fuelled a national takeover of the SA branch.....
The Advertiser has obtained an email Victorian construction union boss John Setka sent to Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union powerbrokers in which he also said SA officials deserved a “good f***king” for allowing union members to work on city building sites over the 2016-17 Christmas break.
He sent the email in January last year, 10 months before a committee of national union executives was installed to oversee the SA branch in a move sources say led to the resignation of SA secretary Aaron Cartledge.
CFMMEU Victorian secretary John Setka speaks at the Victorian ALP Conference in May. Picture: Stuart McEvoy / The Australian
Mr Setka, who this month deleted a Father’s Day tweet of his children holding up a sign that read #GO GET F**KED” aimed at the construction watchdog ABCC, said he was “shocked” to see “a number” of jobs underway while visiting Adelaide with his family.
“After all the money and resources branches have spent here including officials losing their right of entry permits, this is what this branch has been reduced too (sic), what a disgrace,” he wrote in the January 3, 2017, email.
“As far as I am concerned the officials of this branch deserve a good f***ing for this, they are a useless bunch of weak c**** and that’s being kind.
“As for the people that were against what the Vic branch did during the SA elections, maybe they should use their branches (sic) money to support this useless bunch of pretend officials, or maybe the federal office should fund them.
Former CFMEU SA branch secretary Aaron Cartledge with his deputy Jim O'Connor. Both have now resigned from their roles.
“On our first executive meeting for 2017 I will be recommending that we give these bludging f***ers no money until we get some answers.
“I hope that arron (sic) and his crew are having a good holiday with their families.”
The Victorian branch sent organisers to Adelaide over six weeks in 2013-2014 in a disastrous industrial campaign that has cost the SA branch millions of dollars in fines for breaches of workplace laws and resulted in organisers losing right of entry permits.
A well-placed source said that a month after his email, which was not sent to Mr Cartledge, Mr Setka foreshadowed at a national divisional executive meeting he would push at the October national conference for full national intervention in the SA branch.
The construction division set up a strategic committee led by former divisional national president Dean Hall and Queensland secretary Michael Rabar, which was endorsed at the national conference, to manage the SA branch with Mr Cartledge.
“There’s no doubt that email started the chain of events,” the source said of the national intervention into SA.
It’s understood influence of the Victorian and Queensland branches in Adelaide led to the resignation of Mr Cartledge in July and branch deputy Jim O’Connor on Tuesday, as exclusively revealed by The Advertiser.
Queensland union official and national division assistant secretary Andrew Sutherland has replaced Mr Cartledge.
The source said that Mr Setka and Mr Cartledge have “fundamentally disagreed” on how to manage the SA branch.
Mr O’Connor is yet to comment on his decision to leave the union.
The Master Builders Association SA branch has raised concerns about the “takeover” of the union’s SA branch and potential impact on the state’s economy.
THE FULL TEXT OF JOHN SETKA’S EMAIL
Happy new year to everyone, sorry for the message while everyone’s on holidays except for s.a construction workers ! As some of you will know, I am on holidays with my family in Adelaide, to my shock when I arrived on the 29th of December a number of jobs including the Hansen Yunken job on North terrace was working . I was further shocked but not surprised this morning on my walk to see Adco, and Hansen and Yunken working full bore cranes and everything, after all the money and resources branches have spent here including officials losing their right of entry permits, this is what this branch has been reduced too, what a disgrace, as far as I am concerned the officials of this branch deserve a good f***ing for this , they are a useless bunch of weak c**** and that’s being kind ,as for the people that were against what the vic branch did during the s.a elections, maybe they should use their branches money to support this useless bunch of pretend Union officials, or maybe the federal office should fund them , on our first executive meeting for 2017 I will be recommending that we give these bludging f***ers no money until we get some answers ,as for the poor workers here in south Australia , u don’t want to know what they said about the union, they did say that except for the main days, they worked all the way through, and they didn’t get say in it, I hope that arron and his crew are having a good holiday with their families. On a lighter note happy new year to everyone have good holiday , and remember I don’t ever send emails so you know how serious this is .