This week, Australian construction workers rallied against mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations mandate in Victoria – and the clash was mostly against trade unions the protesters are saying have sold them out.
Hundreds of construction workers, known as traddies, gathered at the offices of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) offices in Melbourne demanding that the union “stand up” for ordinary workers who didn’t want to be forced into taking a jab.
There were chants of “stand up, or stand down” aimed at the CFMEU. Water bottles and bread crates were thrown, and front glass at the union’s offices smashed, while workers also clashed with riot police. The union attempted to push back angry traddies by hosing them with water.
Workers have destroyed the CFMEU office doors in Melbourne. Trade union officials remain barricaded inside and upstairs. Riot police have reportedly fired on the crowd of workers with projectile weapons. pic.twitter.com/9PNi7heT2O
— LivingSoul7 (@jamesmcf007) September 20, 2021
The workers were immediately accused of being “right wing extremists” – now the go-to description of anyone who opposes the government dictates on any issue pertaining to the Covid-19 restrictions.
One place you would generally not expect to find “right wing extremists” would be in the trade union movement. Or maybe that was back in the day before corporate billionaires became heroes of the left, and the left abandoned the proletariat who had consistently disappointed them over the years for men in dresses and aggravated burglars.
Now supposed “far-right extremists” are being blamed for infiltrating the Australian construction unions and being behind some of the protests against mandatory vaccination. It is actually clear from watching some of the footage on social media that infiltration consists merely of being a construction worker who is also a member of a trade union.
— Nicole Elisei (@EliseiNicole) September 20, 2021
The state of Victoria is to order the closure of all construction sites in Melbourne for at least the next two weeks. The actual reason for the closure is another wave of paranoia centred on the allegedly lax enforcement of health restrictions withing the sector. Case numbers in Victoria are still low, with just over 600 reported yesterday from a population of 6.4 million.
The protests have been by workers not unnaturally peeved at this, which is estimated to result in losses of A$2.2 billion, with a temporary loss of 320,000 jobs and A$640 million in wages. Compulsory vaccinations were to come into effect for everyone working in construction on September 24.
The leadership of the Australian trade union movement, consisting as in most countries of people who have long since severed any working connection with the people they claim to represent, if indeed they ever had if one goes by their peers in this country, supports the mandatory vaccinations.
One suspects therefore that their coming to the conclusion that their own members have become “neo Nazis” is based on nothing more than their refusal to be told what to do regarding something which they have themselves decided is perhaps not in their best interests.
As in other countries, there would appear from polling evidence to be majority support for mandatory vaccination for those returning to work, although in a poll conducted by the Australian Guardian this was 62%, which is not overwhelming and is a shaky basis on which to force any significant measure on people.