Jacqui Lambie LOSES IT with fiery blast at Anthony Albanese and the Greens over a key element of industrial relations bill
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie blasted Labor and the Greens over their industrial relations bill.
She accused Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and minor party leader Adam Bandt of not supporting a female union branch.
The Tasmanian politician held an emotionally charged conference call in Canberra on Thursday in which he criticized the Prime Minister and Greens leader Adam Bandt for bowing to Victorian CFMEU state secretary John Setka.
The Senate will vote on the industrial relations bill – which includes a controversial ‘right to disconnect’, or refuse bosses’ after-hours calls – on Thursday.
Mr Albanese and Industrial Relations Minister Tony Burke have the support of the Greens, and independent senators David Pocock and Lidia Thorpe.
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie took the Labor government and Greens up to speed in a fiery speech demanding stronger support for a female-led organization
Senator Lambie will not support the bill, citing persistent concerns about small and medium enterprises – and a problem she has with the CFMEU.
She said Labor and the Greens should get behind an amendment that would allow a secret ballot for the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union to secede from CFMEU Victoria.
“(CFMEU chief) John Setka runs the Labor Party,” Ms Lambie snapped.
‘It is sad that the Greens allowed John Setka to infiltrate Adam Bandt’s office. I want every Green voter to know this.’
She said neither party could claim to be ‘for women’ unless they waved through her amendment to the government’s workplace relations bill.
“Give these women their rights,” Senator Lambie said, “or I will remind you every time I come into that room that you don’t stand for women’s rights. You don’t care about women.
“Where’s Katy Gallagher (minister for women)?”
Jenny Kruschel, the union’s secretary, said female members and staff felt ‘unsafe’ around the CFMEU.
“We had to move our department out of the building and it’s a very uncomfortable environment,” Ms Kruschel said.
Ms Lambie said the government refused to endorse the secret ballot, causing her to question whether Mr. Setka ‘runs the Labor Party’.
“Don’t women dare stand up and talk about women’s rights in that room because from today, in my eyes, your credibility has gone down the throat.
“You are disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful.”
Ms Lambie said thousands of women are part of this union, many of whom are from non-English speaking backgrounds.
She said they were entitled to a secret ballot to take control of the union’s future.
Ms Lambie said the government had “two hours to go back into your party room and reconsider supporting this amendment.”
Ms Lambie sought amendments to allow the manufacturing wing of the CFMEU, TCFU, to hold a secret ballot to secede from the main organization
She accused the government of withdrawing her request out of fear that the Greens would withdraw their support for the IR bills.
Ms Lambie also issued an additional, direct warning to Mr Bandt about his future as leader of the party.
“There have been mutterings about your leadership for a long time,” she said.
“Maybe it’s time you took that mumbling seriously.”
In the Senate, Ms Lambie said of her amendment: ‘Who in here can in good conscience vote against these women?
“If your party tells you to vote against this amendment, I want you to think about how you would feel about betraying these women.
“All the impassioned speeches I’ve heard in this place about domestic violence, how women need to be empowered to take control of their lives, did you mean it and will you stand by your words for these women?”
“If you, God forbid, after everything that’s been going on above for the last three or four years, if you don’t stand up for these women, your credibility will just go down the drain.”