The spirited elections for control of the Electrical Trades Union got willing on a Victorian building site today as Victorian organiser Mick Montebello threatened the safety of several interstate campaigners who are competing for positions in the national office of the union.
Montebello – an alleged hot-head rabble-rouser aligned with Dean Mighell – chanced upon the officials at the Ikea Pro-build site this afternoon in Clayton and then acted in a menacing manner towards them that could land him in trouble with building site regulators, the Australian Building and Construction Commission and Victoria Police.
Insiders say while Montebello has had domestic issues that have caused him to interact with law enforcement that he is unlikely to be troubled by the ABCC, while it is governed by former ALP lefty-aligned operative lawyer Leigh Johns. Johns is believed to even be cultivating informants within unions with the same leftish political leanings as Montebello professes to have. Whether they are as keen to get into bed with him as he is remains to be seen.
The visiting Queenslanders and New South Welshpersons had not seen such antics even in a State-of-Origin stoush and were worried they’d get into legal bother if they gave the nut-case the kicking he richly deserved, an offsider told VEXNEWS, so they took their leave.
They decided to drive on, whereupon the excitable Montebello proceeded to give chase in his union-funded roo-bar-equipped vehicle and – it is said – even rammed their rental car in scenes some thought reminiscent of a demolition derby.
Fearing for the safety of their next-to-new rental vehicle – and not looking forward to handing back the keys to the attacked car to a disgruntled Avis lady– they drove as far down the freeway from Clayton towards the city as they could, while keeping within the Victorian speed-limit. Then, in a sudden, breath-taking and dangerous manoeuvre, Montebello then managed to get in front of the fleeing unionists and then tried to stop them by braking suddenly, causing them to run into the middle of his car.
After initially equating Montebello’s behaviour with their recollections of how Melburnians generally behave as depicted in Nine’s hit-series Underbelly, they rang 000 who wisely directed them to the nearest Victorian Police station in Malvern where they took refuge, declining to report a crime but hoping that would scare the crazed Montebello away from Underbelly-style acts.
The hot-head was told stay in the station by the cops so our interstate visitors could make their way to the airport, having enjoyed what they say was a highly productive journey.
The ballots for the election – where former Greens backer turned Bob-Katter supporter Dean Mighell is fighting to retain his position as Victorian secretary and is moving on Labor moderates who run the ETU in other states – haven’t even been sent out yet. It will be on for young and old when they are, with Montebello hoping to use similar tactics to collect ballots from the members who keep the angry little man in hot pasta and roo-bars.