John Setka unions CFMEU wage stagnation
CFMMEU Secretary John Setka (Image: AAP/Stefan Postles)

After six years of wage stagnation so bad it has smashed economic growth, forced interest rates down and threatens to drive up unemployment, what's the current preoccupation of Australia's union movement? The ego of one man, the leader of the Victorian branch of the CFMMEU.

If media reports, police allegations and his past behaviour are any guide, John Setka appears to have little interest in the basic rights of other people. Not those of the families of Australian Building and Construction Comission (ABCC) officials. Not those of the woman he is alleged to have harassed, abused and assaulted. Not those of the staff and lawyers of his union branch and its national office, whom he wants put through a potentially illegal surveillance operation to identify who has leaked against him. And perhaps not even those of construction workers.