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SA CFMEU backs union with Victorian branch

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The South Australian branch of the construction industry union has joined forces with its John Setka-led Victorian counterpart following a unanimous vote of branch members.

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Wednesday night’s ballot means the SA branch of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) will enter into a co-operative administration arrangement with the Setka-led Victorian-Tasmanian division.

SA secretary Andrew Sutherland said the positions of secretary and president would for a fixed period be shared between the two divisions.

“We are pleased to receive such a strong endorsement of the proposal from CFMEU members,” Sutherland said in a statement.

“The co-operative administration arrangement has the full support of all current SA divisional branch officials who believe it is in the interests of South Australian CFMEU members.

“This is a significant step towards building a stronger and sustainable South Australian branch.

“Members will be the big winners from a measure that provides stability, experience, leadership, and additional resources.”

Ahead of Wednesday’s vote, South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas said he was concerned at the prospect of the SA division being taken over by the powerful Victorian branch.

“In South Australia in the industrial landscape, including within construction, we’ve had civil and professional negotiations in the past and I don’t want to see that change,” the premier said.

“Culture matters here and I am concerned that the culture of the CFMEU in Victoria is very different to what we see in South Australia.”

The Liberal Opposition has been calling on Labor to return a $125,000 donation the Victorian-branch of the CFMEU gave before the election and donate it to domestic violence charities.

– AAP

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