Union bosses have branded Labor leader Anthony Albanese an ‘idiot’ after prematurely calling for the sacking of union heavy weight John Setka on dodgy information.
Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union boss John Setka was laying low of Friday after calls for his scalp were splashed across papers around the country.
A relaxed Mr Setka was spotted enjoying a soda water with an acquaintance at a North Melbourne cafe on Friday.
He declined to comment when approached by Daily Mail Australia and said he was ‘allowing the dust to settle’ after a week of controversy.
John Setka on Thursday outside the ACTU building in Melbourne. On Friday he enjoyed a soda water at a North Melbourne cafe
Comments John Setka never made about anti-family violence advocate Rosie Batty exploded this week, with calls for the union boss to be expelled from the Labor Party
Behind closed union doors, his powerful allies are livid at an extraordinary attempt by Mr Albanese to have him removed over supposed comments about anti-family violence campaigner Rosie Batty Mr Setka made at a union event.
The claims were later revealed to be false, but Mr Albanese refuses to back down.
Sources have told Daily Mail Australia how union bosses are branding the Labor Leader’s comments ‘idiotic’, and that Mr Setka’s haters are continue to push for his scalp.
‘They’re now going after him because they reckon he swears too much,’ a source said. ‘Can you believe that. Of course he swears too much. But who cares!?’
In a tough week for the ‘love him or loathe him’ union boss, ACTU secretary Sally McManus acknowledged Mr Setka did not denigrate Rosie Batty.
‘He never said anything to denigrate Rosie Batty,’ she said. ‘He didn’t in any way say laws are worse for men. It’s just been reported in a way that’s not correct.’
Labor Leader Anthony Albanese has stood by his stance to expel the union boss. Even though the basis for his expulsion have since been proven incorrect
The ACTU secretary had earlier called for Mr Setka’s scalp if he was found guilty of harassing another woman
That matter is currently weaving its way through the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and involves claims Mr Setka bombarded a woman with unwanted texts and phone calls.
On Tuesday, Mr Albanese, said he would move to expel Mr Setka from the Labor party over the supposed Batty sledge.
‘Rosie Batty is a great campaigner against family violence and the idea that she should be denigrated by someone like John Setka is completely unacceptable to me as leader of the Australian Labor Party, and I don’t want him in our party,’ he said.
Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, backed the move, and said the government had removed him from an advisory board.
CFFMEU Victorian secretary John Setka and his wife Emma Walters speak to media this week
CFMEU Victorian secretary John Setka and his wife Emma Walters are sticking together through the tough times
At a press conference with his wife Emma Walters a day later, Mr Setka said there was no reason for him to resign.
Ms Walters claimed her husband had been the victim of a ‘get-John Setka campaign’.
Maritime Union national president Christy Cain backed Mr Setka, telling the ABC plans to expel him because of ‘false’ and ‘rubbish’ claims that he had denigrated Ms Batty would be disgraceful.
He claimed he was in the room last week when Mr Setka was meant to have made the comments, and that Mr Albanese was foolish to have accepted the veracity of the retelling.
Mr Cain further suggested it should be Mr Albanese — not Mr Setka — who should resign.