Jewish leaders call on union boss John Setka to apologise for Nazi comments

Jewish leaders have called on powerful Victorian union boss John Setka to apologise for linking a new building code to Nazi Germany, describing his statements as hurtful and “grossly inappropriate”.

Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the Jewish Anti-Defamation Commission, said Mr Setka was misguided in using references to the Holocaust and the Nazi Party for political “sloganeering”.

The controversial state secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union had described the federal government’s national building code as “an absolute disgrace” and argued that workers’ side allowances were under threat as part of the plan.

“It’s likened to Nazi Germany, some of the stuff they want to bring in,” Mr Setka said at an enterprise bargaining meeting in Melbourne on Wednesday.

“And it’s deliberately being brought in to, pardon my language, f— us right over. That’s what they’re trying to do.

“If these morons got re-elected again, they are coming after us, they’re going to come after your conditions, so our job at the moment is to lock up your conditions as soon as possible.”

Dr Abramovich said there was no place for Nazi comparisons in Australian political debate.

Full report by Tom McIlroy in The Age