“The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) is Australia’s main trade union in construction, forestry, furnishing products, mining and energy production. The CFMEU has offices in all capital cities in Australia and in many major regional centres with the national office of the union in Melbourne. The union has an estimated 120,000 members and employs around 400 full-time staff and officials.” (Source)
That Wiki entry also tells us that “in August 2010, the CFMEU donated over $1.2 million to political activist group GetUp! to pay for TV airtime for a women’s rights ad-spot condemning Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party.” Exactly what benefit its members extracted from that expenditure is unclear.
This union represents sectors of Australian industry whose employees are predominantly male, and I would assume that more than 90% of its members are men. I could not locate this information in the CFMEU web site.
I later learnt that the CFMEU failed to provide a response for the 2010 ACTU Women in Unions survey. They did provide information to the ACTU at a later date, but details of female rank and file membership are not provided in subsequent ACTU reports.
I then unsuccessfully sought clarification about the number of female members from both the CFMEU and the ACTU. Why so coy, guys?
The industry sectors from which the CFMEU draws its members are also notable for the level of workplace death and injury that occurs in each. Those deaths and injuries also affect women, but mostly as dependants of male victims. With regards to fatalities, there were 191 workplace deaths in Australia in 2015, of which approx 95% were men.
If there was a case for an organisation to encourage the support of women in enhancing the welfare of men, then this might well be one. I was therefore surprised to see, on 12 July 2016, the union issue a tweet in support of feminist activist Van Badham featuring the photograph shown below. And here is Van Badham returning the love. Nice.
Granted this is a White Ribbon banner, but presumably its message is supported and promoted by the union. This correspondent’s initial impression is that ‘brown-nosing’ the feminist lobby is accorded a higher priority by the union than is pursuing their core responsibility, the welfare of its own members. Who could wonder why union membership has slumped at the rate that it has?
In the case of domestic violence, the issue about which Van Badham was pontificating on Q&A, at least one third of the victims are men. If we again consider fatalities alone, there were 158 domestic violence-related deaths in 2015, and again 1/3 of these were men.
So although there are more workplace deaths than DV-related deaths, strangely I don’t recall ever seeing feminists carrying banners demanding action on workplace safety.
Worse yet, male victims of domestic violence are routinely ignored, denied or even mocked by feminists and pro-feminist organisations like White Ribbon.
Bear in mind that there would surely be many victimised men within the rank and file membership of the CMFEU. How much support do they receive from their union? SFA, I would suspect. And according to this article it doesn’t look like women get much respect from the union either. Funny thing that.
As I have already said in another post in this blog, it’s high time that there was some quid pro quo with regards to seeking support from women and women’s groups for some of the many issues that have a negative impact on men.
Unfortunately however that’s not how it works at present. The feminist narrative, and all component parts thereof, must be publicly recognised and given the highest priority. Men are expected to drop everything and rush to assist strong, independant women tackle whatever real or imagined obstacles are encountered by them.
Women on the other hand are not to be held responsible for anything, least of all to help construct or support remedies that benefit men. At least that’s how it is with feminists – and theirs are the female voices getting all the airtime in the media.
What a state we now find ourselves in.
Am I saying that unions should be denied a voice in relation in relation to matters affecting the broader community? Of course not. I simply saying that in this case, their priority should be their members, the broader community, and the feminist lobby. In that order, rather than the reverse.
I would say to the CFMEU, ‘wake up to yourselves!’, but I’d most likely be wasting my time doing so. And considering the mood in the reader’s comments sections with respect to articles addressing gender bias, I know that I’d not be alone in recognising the need for a better and fairer approach to these issues.
Regrettably the ideological rot of the regressive left has well and truly set in, and the sort of common sense and decency that was once integral to the Australian character is rapidly becoming just a memory.
Unfortunately the same trend is apparent elsewhere, and in the U.K for example the Trades Union Congress joined forces with hardline feminist group ‘Everyday Sexism’ to produce a survey and report on harassment in the workplace. In addition to other methodological flaws they only surveyed women. Male victims of harassment? None to be found = harassment only affects women. Wrong.