A senior union leader has predicted a post-election wave of Labor “bloodletting” in a furious backlash over the issue that has overshadowed its campaign: the dumping of Kevin Rudd. Electrical Trades Union Victorian state secretary, Dean Mighell, said those involved in the axing of the former prime minister would be “targeted” after Saturday’s vote. Mr Mighell, a regular critic of the Labor government, said the ”brutal” and ”ugly” disposal of Mr Rudd had turned off some voters.
BLOW TO LABOR AS UNION BANKROLLS GREENS
Much of the retribution would focus on the right-wing of the NSW Labor movement, Mr Mighell said.
The faction’s leaders – including Mark Arbib – were widely credited for plotting to oust Mr Rudd in June.
But Mr Mighell also foreshadowed retaliation against figures in the Australian Workers Union, whose former leader, Bill Shorten, was closely linked to getting the numbers to install Julia Gillard as leader.
“I think they’ve handled it badly, and the truth will come out, and you’ll see a lot of bloodletting after the election within the ranks of Labor for people taking responsibility for the way Kevin Rudd was savaged,” said Mr Mighell, who was expelled from the ALP before the 2007 election by Mr Rudd.
“I think the NSW Right will be targeted,” he told Radio 3AW host Neil Mitchell.
Mr Rudd forced Mr Mighell to resign after a recording surfaced of an expletive-ridden speech in which the union boss bragged about winning pay rises for workers by threatening strike action.
The Opposition’s treasury spokesman, Joe Hockey, this morning seized on the comments – saying Labor was beset by conflict and could not be trusted to provide stable government.
”If senior union officials are warning of a bloodbath in the Labor Party after the election, Australians should be aware that there will be a focus on Labor, and not a focus on the Australian people, if Julia Gillard is elected,” Mr Hockey.
”This is a warning from a union official that there is going to be turmoil and turbulence in a Julia Gillard elected government.”
In a blow for Labor, the ETU’s Victorian branch has given The Greens their largest-ever political donationof $325,000 to help the party win the seat of Melbourne and its first Victorian Senate spot.
– with AAP