Created Mon 25/11/2013, Last Updated Mon 25/11/2013

Construction workers march to condemn violence against women

Construction workers and their union will be on the streets of Melbourne today for a different kind of cause when they take part in the White Ribbon Day activities.

As part of a nation wide campaign led by the CFMEU in the construction industry, the Victorian branch will be volunteering as marshalls in today’s walk in order to show leadership on a very important issue.

White Ribbon flags will also be flying on most CBD construction sites.

Support for the CFMEU's stance on White Ribbon Day at Brookfield Mutiplex's Prima Pearl site. From left, Paddy Hopkins, Scotty, Beck Paspalis, Phil Jones and Billy Beattie

Victorian Secretary John Setka said that the union had made a commitment to spread the message that violence against women was unacceptable among the thousands of union members – the vast majority of whom are men.

“Because it is men who are largely responsible for violence in the home which places women and children at a disadvantage and because the effects of this violence is often sustained through generations, then we as men must take action and put a stop to this,” said Mr Setka.

“Violence against women is inexcusable, intolerable and, as has been proven, has far reaching effects in our community.

“Men must stand united across all divides to oppose violence in any form and to help break the cycle of untold damage it wreaks on women and families.”

CFMEU executive team Derek Christopher, Shaun Reardon, Elias Spernovasilis and John Setka

Silence not good enough
Mr Setka said that he fully supported Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay and his stand on this issue.

“If we are going to succeed in preventing violence against women, men in leadership positions, who are looked up to and respected, must take a stand.

“It’s not good enough to pat yourself on the back because you’re not a perpetrator of violence when you know that others are. We have to say ‘this is not on’”.

 The CFMEU’s Real Men Don’t Abuse Women campaign was launched at the union’s national conference in October and the union will be participating in events for White Ribbon Day across Australia.