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NOSTALGIC: Lefty manufacturing unionist praises tariff-cutting factional friend Kim Carr

stevedargavel2 Victorian Metalworkers union boss Steve Dargavel is facing internal union criticism for being a “brown-noser” after he lavished praise on Federal Industry Minister Senator Kim Carr at last week’s Trades Hall Executive.

Dargavel’s internal critics are none too pleased with Carr’s approach that involves multiple reviews, inquiries and investigations. One of them, conducted by former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, endorsed tariff cuts in the car industry.

Dargavel has previously publicly opposed tariff cuts, so his embracing of the Carr/Bracks’ free trade position has puzzled internal rivals and given them an opportunity to consider whether Dargavel might have been over-promoted in his current position.

Others say Dargavel is desperate to distance himself from his own failed leadership of the union where he has presided over a drastic slump in union membership.

“He’s too busy feeding lines to Ted Baillieu and lavishing praise on factional mates like Kim Carr to actually fight for his members in a productive way.”

Dargavel’s woeful performance at Boeing has been cited by internal union critics.

“Simply, he’s mishandled it. They’ve pulled out hundreds of jobs from Victoria because Boeing management have a more productive relationship with the union in Sydney than they do with Dargavel, who wants the blokes to see him as a new version of Craig Johnston (a former AMWU boss known for his militant approach). Because he’s a politician, he just tries too hard to win industrial cred. The cost of all this positioning has been job losses. He ought to be ashamed of himself.”

Boeing recently announced they’d be moving 550 jobs to Sydney in order to “make room” for work the company will be doing on the new “Dreamliner”.

unionsolidrity The company were forced to litigate over Dargavel’s use of “Union Solidarity” community “assemblers” to picket Boeing’s Fishermens Bend factory.

Union Solidarity is an ultra-left linked rent-a-crowd organisation that delivers picketers to sites of industrial action in circumstances where the union and staff are legally prevented from doing so.

If a litigious company could establish a link between a striking union and Union Solidarity’s “community picketers”, it could be very expensive according to industrial relations experts.


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  1. Doof Dargavel is opposed to tariff cuts, unless they are delivered by people who can get him back his seat in Parliament.

    Posted by hypocrat | August 28, 2008, 15:53
  2. Gargamell is a nobody going no where. His (rapidly declining) membership clearly see that he is using recent job losses to build his own media profile in a bid to return to Canberra. AMWU members won’t cop it – time’s up Gargamell!

    Game on

    Posted by AMWU Insder | August 29, 2008, 9:29
  3. It’s time that people in the AMWU know that their union’s “leadership” is in bed with the liberals-nationals coalition. Maybe some of Gargamell’s members in the automotive industry should check out what his BNBF (brand new best friend) Peter Ryan from the National Party has to say about auto tariffs (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/12/2241906.htm)

    If you go to bed with dogs, you wake up with fleas…

    Posted by Concerned Auto Worker | August 29, 2008, 9:35
  4. There is no 550 jobs going from Boeing Victoria to NSW, only one project. Boeing Hawker de Havilland NSW is currently up for sale as it seems Boeing is no longer committed to its future any.It would help if you got it right rather than rely on second hand inaccurate info from other media sources or your boss informers. Your Credibility score is zero! As far as us workers are concerned, there isn’t much difference between the Lib’s and the traitors who call themselves the ALP!

    Posted by AMWU & proud | August 30, 2008, 22:47
  5. Steve, Seems the dogs youve been sleeping with are about to turn and bite you. Never mind the fleas, I have a suggesstion for you. Why dont you start collecting resignations, from disgruntled members who were on payroll deduction. Dont process them and just before the next election make a big show of getting your organisers to do change of address collections on site, slip the heap of unporocessed resignations in with this lot before the roll goes to the AEC. Then nobody will be the wiser!! Oh maybe this isnt such a good idea cause what if somebody twigged and started collecting statements? No forget this suggestion. Perhaps you should meet your mates again at that little coffee shop ciampini espresso on little lonsdale near chisolm place. You are very photegenic Steve!!!

    Posted by JAK | September 1, 2008, 10:42
  6. Dont know this character,must of hid his political career well!But anyone that then tries running a union,unless he got there easy,because the vote was desperately Labor,initially may of been well motivated.Having been unemployed for so long,Victorians need new approaches,rather than the slowly sinking,who stop those going up to.Surely his made enough money now,try being a small farmer,business person,or on a hospital board,where many losing workers find themselves regrettably.The gift of the gab in another setting unrelated may get his soul back.Life is worth a try,if you have been on the higher rungs.Or return to work..pick Brussel sprouts!

    Posted by philip travers | November 2, 2008, 16:04


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