Women Unionists Lead Protest Against Violence in the Workplace

Women union members and activists today led a protest against violence in the workplace.

The target of the protest was construction company, Element Five/VCON.

The protest comes after an Element Five/VCON manager sent an abusive email to a 26 year old woman organiser from the Victorian Trades Hall Council who had been campaigning against the company’s appalling safety record. In the email, the Element Five/VCON manager threatened the organiser and her family. The email stated:

F**k off you scum c**t” and “I will track you down and attack you and your family”.

The manager was subsequently arrested and charged by police over the matter. Despite this, he remains employed as a site manager by Element Five.

The rally outside the offices of Element Five/VCON exposes the company’s inadequate response to this incident of gendered violence.

Gendered Violence is a significant workplace OHS matter that has been swept under the carpet for too long in most workplaces. This recent incident is an example of the deeply problematic attitudes towards gendered violence that still exist in certain companies in the construction industry. The Victorian Trades Hall has been working closely with construction unions, led by the CFMEU, to stamp out these archaic attitudes towards gendered violence.