Plug pulled on ETU quest for power campaign sign
THE ELECTRICAL Trades Union's quest to place a giant 'Not for Sale' campaign sign above Ipswich MP Ian Berry's Booval office has been thwarted.
The ETU had plans to utilise the space, that is up for rent, but were knocked back by the owner of the building.
The 'Not for Sale' campaign is funded by the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) and backed by the ETU.
A giant sign attacking Mr Berry for his response to 33 workers losing their jobs at the Swanbank E Power Station has already gone up in Bundamba.
But ETU supply industry organiser Stuart Traill said his organisation was looking to place an additional sign above Mr Berry's office. Mr Traill, who lives at Redbank Plains, said he dealt with an employee of an Ipswich real estate agency and sent through a draft design of the artwork.
"I was up front with her from the start that it would be a 'Not for Sale' sign against asset sales and Ian Berry's government and that it wouldn't have any personal attacks against Ian Berry," he said.
"She said she would have to run it by the owner first.
"But she came back and said he wasn't going to give it to us because he didn't want to upset the government, because he had them in there on a long-term lease.
"We saw it as an opportunity too good to knock back because Ian Berry had poked Swanbank workers in the eye, and when we put the billboard up, he did the 'no deal' (gesture with his hands) in the QT and said it wasn't big enough or in colour.
"So we thought we'd bring the 'Not for Sale' message a bit closer to Ian Berry.
"This government and the likes of Ian Berry are blindly steamrolling ahead with their privatisation agenda despite over 90% of Queenslanders saying they don't want essential services sold."
Mr Traill said the ETU was " in the process of getting some delegates from Swanbank to meet with Ian Berry" about solving the issues surrounding the impending mothballing of the Swanbank power station
Mr Berry said he would have "no difficulty in meeting with the ETU".
"I want them to come with an open mind, and if they have got a proposal to make, I will put it to government. If they want something that is achievable, I can go into bat for them."
Mr Berry said he was "philosophical" about his ongoing battle with the ETU
"I see the funny side of it, but at the same time I do feel that industrial trade unions should not get into politics and not saddle up to the ALP, but look after their workers.
"My only reservation about the ETU is that I would like them to be cleverer in what they do."