Remembering the dead, fighting for the living.


International Workers’ Memorial Day on April 28 provided us all with an important reminder of why we do what we do here at the CFMEU. I was honoured to be invited to join Alex White of UnionsACT in speaking at the National Workers Memorial, but none of us were prepared for the words of Michelle Campbell, whose son Jason was killed while working.

Michelle is the reason we are so determined to rid our industry of the people who are willing to put profits ahead of safety. We will never give up the fight.

To mark budget week, we joined the MUA in taking that fight to the lawns of Parliament with the re-launch of the Jobs Embassy.

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus was joined by CFMEU National Secretary Michael O’Connor and MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin to demand a real plan for jobs in Australia. They spoke about the plight that’s facing the crew of the MV Portland – who after being replaced by a foreign crew earning less than $2 an hour, are now facing fines for taking action to protect Australian jobs.

Also mentioned were CFMEU Mining & Energy Delegate Dave McLachlan, who was sacked from South32’s Appin Mine for leading a protest in his undies, and the Forestry division members in Myrtleford in Victoria who have been locked out of their workplace for more than 4 weeks.

They all tell the same story: The industrial laws in Australia are broken. They work for big business, but not for the rest of us.

It’s up to us to fight back.

Read more in the May edition of the Building Worker Monthly

In solidarity,

Zach Smith