John Setka will not stand down over ‘abusive’ recording, numerous allegations

This morning, John Setka addressed yet more allegations, insisting that an expletive-laden rant was not what it seemed.



In an interview with Radio National this morning, beleaguered CFMEU secretary John Setka has reinforced his position, despite the numerous allegations aimed at him.

Setka was purportedly recorded earlier this month telling hundreds of union members that crossbench politicians would “wear the consequences” if they supported the Coalition’s Ensuring Integrity Bill. The bill will make it easier to accomplish the deregistration of unions, and officials who have broken industrial laws will be disqualified for certain positions.

This morning, Setka denied the claims, stating that “There is (sic) no threats in that whatsoever — the only threat in there is that we will campaign…You could call any campaign a threat — I mean is that what we’ve got to?”

Back in June, Labor leader Anthony Albanese took the extraordinary step of moving to expel John Setka, the Victoria secretary of the CFMMEU (Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union) for his purported comments against anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty.

Addressing a meeting of the CFMMEU national executive, Setka apparently stated Batty’s work had led to men having fewer rights. He later claimed his comments had been taken out of context.

“I’m quite astonished with (sic) those comments,” said Rosie Batty, who was on Monday appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for her advocacy.

“Rather than feel, you know, men have less rights, we have so much more to gain by recognising that moving forward we’re a place of equality.”

Albanese said that Setka “does not belong in our party, because of the views that he holds”. The leader of the Labor Party said he did not want someone with views on family violence and the role of women that were so outside mainstream views “in the same party that I lead. It’s that simple.”

Sally McManus also tried to pressure Setka, with both the ALP and ACTU statements panned by anti-domestic violence advocates.

In response, Setka has vowed not to step down, citing the ‘dirty politics’ that has apparently moved forces against him. In an interview with The New Daily, Setka has denied the quotes attributed to him, stating that “People are making up lies about what I said. Every time I see Rosie Batty I want to give her a hug…I would rather be called corrupt. It’s not even an exaggeration of what I said. It’s an outright lie.”

At a press conference that followed, Setka claimed that “There’s no reason for me to resign…I’m staying as the secretary.”

Setka took the opportunity to double down on his previous comments, believing that there is “some sort of push” from within the union to remove him.

“I’ve got a view of where the union should be in regards to the ALP, and some people probably don’t share that view,” Setka said at the time.





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